Skip to main content

Full text of "Turkey : the awakening of Turkey, the Turkish revolution of 1908"

See other formats

Class 35Q 

Book Of^l 

Volume u>\ 

State Library 


Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2014 

©rtental Series 

Limited to Seven hundred fifty numbered and registered copies 
of which this is No. 

I I R K E ^ 



Volume XXI 


AAfi ZUAJa 3HT OT AJ/./.HTV13. 3H 





Volume XXI 

Copyright, iqio 


[H . D • o] 



Editorial Note ix 

I The Turkish People 1 

II Atrocities 15 

III Early Reformers 25 

IV The Spread of Corruption 35 

V The Spread of Education 54 

VI The Rise of the Young Turks .... 64 

VII Discontent in the Army ...... 87 

VIII The Central Committee ...... 101 

IX How the Revolution Began 118 

X The Standard of Revolt 133 

XI The Insurrection in Bulgaria .... 152 

XII The Palace and the Greeks 169 

XIII A Bloodless Victory 185 

XIV The Committee's Ultimatum 198 

XV After the Revolution 207 

XVI European Assistance 222 

XVII Mutinous Palace Guards 238 

XVIII Preparing for Self-Rule 249 

XIX A Strong Army Needed 261 

XX The Opening of Parliament 281 

XXI The New Sultan 297 

Index 321 



• • .< • • • " 
. •••••• 



The Entrance to the Black Sea .... Frontispiece 
Imperial Palace of the Sweet Waters of Asia . • 64 
Turkish Market-woman in Street Dress . . . 112 

View of Constantinople 128 

Chateau of Asia 224 

View of Scutari 272 



FROM the land of the Turks — Turkestan in Cen- 
tral Asia — there descended beginning in a.d. 800 
a series of hordes and armies which overran and 
gradually took possession of that portion of South-Eastern 
Europe and Western Asia once known as Turkey. After 
five hundred years Mohammed II seized upon Constanti- 
nople, and that city became the capital of the Turkish 
Empire; — for the next two hundred years the dominion 
spread until it became an immense and important world- 
power. Then began a period of decline; and vice and 
prodigality in harem and seraglio brought about disruption 
and war. Russia saw her opportunity to extend her bor- 
ders towards the sea — and went on gaining Turkish 
territory from early in the 18th until the middle of the 
19th century when the Crimean war crippled her power 
in that corner of Europe. But Turkey could not hold the 
heterogeneous populations of her European provinces. 
Insurrection after insurrection broke out and one by one 
she lost many of the more important of them. She became 
bankrupt and a concert of the European Powers pro- 
posed and partially carried out a scheme for her reform. 
But she proved stubborn and went to war with Russia 
in 1877-1878; this ended disastrously for her and 
more territory was lost. In 1897, came the war with 
Greece in which she was successful. In recent years 
after many vicissitudes the spread of the great awakening 



of the people of Oriental lands has reached Turkey, and 
the story of the newer political and social life in that 
country is related in this volume in full and complete 
detail, from its inception until the famous Revolution 
of 1908. 

No one is better qualified to tell this story than Edward 
F. Knight, who as a noted correspondent for one of the 
leading papers of London has seen service in all the wars 
since 1895, his work having taken him to South America, 
Africa, and Asia. In 1908, he was specially commissioned 
to visit Turkey to study the conditions of the recent 
revolution, and this book is the result of his exhaustive 

The important position which Turkey occupies on the 
highway to the Farther East from Europe has made 
it the subject of continuous political intrigue by the 
nations of that continent. Its interesting and romantic 
people and their despotic government; its natural prod- 
ucts, some of them unique; its picturesque and poetical 
language and literature, are full of peculiar and absorb- 
ing interest, and no one who wishes to keep abreast of 
the great world movements of our time can afford to 
neglect this stirring work. 

Charles Welsh. 




URKEY, once so vast and powerful, has been 

undergoing a gradual dismemberment for the 

-■- last two centuries. Possession after pos- 
session has been wrested from her in Europe, Asia, 
and Africa. On the mainland of Europe, having 
lost Greece, Bulgaria, Roumania, Servia, Bosnia, 
Croatia, and Herzegovina, as well as those regions on 
the northern shores of the Black Sea (once a Turk- 
ish lake) which now form part of Southern Russia, 
Turkey is left with but a narrow strip of territory 
stretching across the centre of the Balkan Penin- 
sula from the Black Sea to the Adriatic. 

The despotic system of government in Turkey 
worked well enough so long as she was a conquering 
and expanding nation; but so soon as she ceased to 
be this, and was hemmed in by Christian Powers 
strong enough to check her advance, the system, 
being incompatible with progress, failed to hold the 
Empire together and disintegration set in. The 
internal disorders caused by the evils of her admin- 
istration and the cupidity and treachery of her pow- 
erful European neighbours threatened Turkey with 



extinction. Russia and Austria waged successful 
wars against her and possessed themselves of her 
frontier provinces, and at the same time the dis- 
affected Christian populations of European Turkey 
were encouraged to rise and gain their indepen- 
dence. So it came about that Greece, Bulgaria, and 
other kingdoms and principalities were carved out of 
Turkey, and up to within a few months ago Chris- 
tian peoples within and without her frontiers were 
quarrelling over a further projected act of spoliation 
that would indeed have been for Turkey the begin- 
ning of the end — the partition of Macedonia. 

For the oppression, corruption, and incompetence 
that characterised their government the Turkish 
people themselves were held responsible by a large 
section of public opinion in Western Europe. There 
is a saying to the effect that a nation has the gov- 
ernment which it deserves, and this may be true if 
a nation is free to work out its own salvation. But 
in the case of Turkey the people were allowed 
no chance of obtaining the government which they 
deserved; for it was to the interest of Turkey's 
powerful enemies to conserve the evils of the des- 
potic rule, and whenever the Turks made an effort 
to put their house in order some Christian Power, 
fearing lest a reformed Turkey might prove a strong 
Turkey, fell upon her with armed force or stood in 
the way of the projected changes. Moreover, the 
Powers that were bent upon self-aggrandisement at 
Turkey's expense saw to it that there should be no 
peace within her borders and stirred up trouble, 



exciting the Christian peasants to rise, and foment- 
ing disturbances that might serve as pretexts for a 
policy of intervention and annexation. No methods 
were too unscrupulous for the Powers in question. 
For example, among many other agents provocateurs 
was a certain Dervish who, some years ago, as the 
paid secret agent of Russia, acting under instruc- 
tions, preached a holy war against giaours in Asia 
Minor and excited the Mussulman population to 
attack the Christian inhabitants. One could quote 
many other stories to illustrate the treachery of 
Turkey's enemies and the unfair treatment which 
has been accorded to her. 

And so Turkey, by her own bad government and 
by the machinations of those who lusted after the 
rich possessions that were still left to her, was being 
steadily dragged down to her ruin. Even her best 
friends despaired of her regeneration; for reform 
from without administered by the Powers would mean 
the loss of her independence, while reform from within 
seemed impossible of attainment. Turkey appeared 
to be destined to early effacement from the map of 
Europe, when, lo! of a sudden, the Turks themselves 
— all that was best and most patriotic of the man- 
hood of the Empire — came boldly forward to make 
a desperate last stand in the defence of the integrity 
of their beloved fatherland. The "Young Turks" 
threw off the despotism that had all but destroyed 
their country and seized the reins of government, 
displaying a firmness, justice, wisdom, and modera- 
tion in their almost bloodless revolution that have 



won for them the admiration of all honest men 
throughout the civilised world. It looks very much 
as if these men are about to prove to the world that 
reform can come from within even in Turkey, pro- 
vided that the Turks are now given the chance which 
they have never had before, and greedy foes are not 
permitted to frustrate the aspirations of a people 
freed at last. 

Those who know and therefore like and respect 
the Turkish people rejoice that the ancient friend- 
ship between England and Turkey has been restored, 
and that at last the English people are beginning to 
realise the injustice that a large section of public 
opinion has done to a noble race, for over thirty 
years. There was a time when they understood the 
Turks better. During the Crimean war the British 
officers had the opportunity of acquiring an intimate 
knowledge of their allies; many firm friendships were 
then made which were kept up through life, and so 
large and influential were the relations thus brought 
about between the gentlemen of the two countries 
that they directed English diplomacy in Turkish 
affairs for many years. It may seem, and it ought 
to be, "unnecessary to preface this little work with 
an explanation of what manner of men these Turks 
are; but so grossly have they been misrepresented, 
and so widespread has been the misconception con- 
cerning them, that a few words on this subject may 
not be out of place. 

Five and a half centuries have passed since the 
Mussulman Turks — a Central- Asian people akin to 



the Mongols — having seized the Asiatic possessions 
of the decaying Byzantine Empire, crossed the Bos- 
phorus and, extending their conquests, established 
themselves firmly in Europe. It is possible that in 
Asia Minor peasants of pure Turkish blood may still 
be found, but in European Turkey — that "lumber 
room of many races" — the strong and noble Turk- 
ish stock has been so largely intermingled with a 
number of other races that the racial characteristics 
of the Osmanli have practically disappeared. It is 
more rare to find features of the Mongolian stamp 
among the modern Turks than among the Christian 
peoples over whom they rule. The Bulgarians, for 
example, though speaking a Slav tongue and gener- 
ally considered as a Slav people, often have the flat 
faces, the projecting cheek-bones, the small oblique 
eyes, that betray their descent from the nomads of 
the Asiatic steppes. 

There are no handsomer people in Europe than 
the Turks, for here the crossing of many virile 
breeds has resulted in the development of a very 
fine race of men. The modern Turk is a Caucasian 
of the highest type, and combines in himself some 
of the best qualities of the East and West. It is 
true that some of his Eastern qualities stand in the 
way of what the energetic Western world calls prog- 
ress. The Turk is improvident and often a spend- 
thrift; he is a fatalist, enduring patiently whatever 
ill fortune or suffering fate may bring him, but dis- 
playing an indolent indisposition to struggle against 
destiny. Dieu aide qui s'aide expresses a motive for 



action which is opposed to his Moslem fatalism. 
But difficult though he may be to rouse to effort, 
once roused he displays great energy and stubborn- 
ness of purpose, as has been recently proved to the 
world by the careful preparation and determined 
carrying through of the Turkish revolution. At any 
rate, the faults of the Turks are for the most part 
amiable ones, and most people who have travelled 
in the Near East will agree with an authority on 
the politics of that region, who replied as follows to 
a question put to him by an interviewer: "The 
men that I liked best among all that I met in the 
East were Turks. In some respects the Turk struck 
me as more like an Englishman and more like a 
gentleman than any of the other races except the 
Maygars. He is a quiet, manly fellow, with great 
repose and charm of manner, and does not wear his 
heart on his sleeve. Europeans who live in the 
country look on the Turk as an honest man and a 
man of his word." 

It must be remembered that the corrupt official- 
dom created by the Palace, which had a degrading 
influence on everything in touch with it, is not repre- 
sentative of the Turkish people. The typical Turk 
possesses the virtues and the failings of a conquering 
and dominant race. He is courageous, truthful, and 
honest amid races not conspicuous for truthfulness 
or honesty, some of which are likewise lacking in 
courage. The Turk, moreover, is shrewd and gifted 
with common sense, and he is not a visionary, as are 
the Arabs and some other peoples holding the Mos- 



lem faith. He has not the quick wits of some Euro- 
pean peoples, and may perhaps be described as being 
somewhat stupid, in the same sense that the English- 
man is stupid in the eyes of a neighbouring, brighter 
race; but this same stupidity, or whatever else we 
may call it, happily has preserved the Turk from 
the seeing of visions, and consequently no impos- 
sible ideals, no wild dreams for the reconstruction 
of society, have led his practical and common-sense 
revolution into those dreadful roads of bloodshed and 
anarchy which more imaginative nations, shrieking 
liberty, have blindly followed to tyrannies more 
oppressive than the worst of despotisms. 

Those who know him best also claim that the Turk 
is hospitable, temperate, devoid of meanness, sincere 
in his friendships — once he is your friend he is 
always your friend — and, though his enemies have 
represented him as very much the reverse, gentle 
and humane. Of the steadfastness of his friendship 
I have had experience. When a Turk is your friend 
you can implicitly trust him, even though he be, 
what the conditions of his country have sometimes 
made him, a murderous outlaw. I have had friends 
among Turkish brigands myself, and Sir William 
Whittall, who knows the Turks as well as any Eng- 
lishman can, writes in the following sympathetic 
way of his robber friend Redjeb: "Peace be to his 
ashes! He is dead now. Brigand or no brigand, I 
had a sincere admiration for the man as a man. His 
faithfulness was like unto that of a dog, and he saved 
my life at the risk of his own. I have had many 



incidents with brigands in Asia Minor during my 
fifty years of sport, and I must say that as long as 
they were Turks, and I had assisted some friends or 
villages of theirs, which I always made it a point to 
do when I frequented the wild regions, I never feared 
any accidents; and though I might often have been 
taken, I never was. I would not like to trust Chris- 
tian brigands in the same fashion." 

Gentleness and humanity are among the most 
marked characteristics of the Turk. With his feroc- 
ity in war when his passions are roused I shall deal 
later, but of his kindliness and charity in his dealings 
with his fellow-men there can be no doubt. In no 
European country are animals treated so kindly as 
they are in Turkey. A Turk never ill-uses his horse 
or his ox or his domestic pets, and the wonderful 
tameness of these creatures in Turkey testifies to 
this good trait. In Constantinople the pariah dogs 
lie about the streets in their tens of thousands ; they 
live partly on garbage and partly on the scraps of 
food which even very poor Turks put out for them. 
These dogs, though fighting among themselves, dis- 
play nothing but friendship for, and confidence in, 
man. They never move for one as they sprawl 
across the narrow pavements, for they know that 
no Turk would have the heart to kick them out of 
the way. A few years ago an American offered a 
very large sum for the right to clear Constanti- 
nople of its pariah dogs, his object being to sell 
their skins to the glove makers. The populace 
raised a howl of indignation when they heard of 



this, and had not the scheme been abandoned seri- 
ous riots would have occurred. There is no need 
for a society for the prevention of cruelty to ani- 
mals in a Turkish town. 

It has often been maintained by the enemies of 
the Turk that his Mohammedan fanaticism makes 
his continued occupation of any portion of Christian 
Europe undesirable. But in justice to the votaries 
of the Moslem creed one ought to bear in mind, in 
the first place, that early Mohammedanism never 
persecuted the Christian religion in the ferocious 
fashion that Christianity persecuted Mohammedan- 
ism, as for example in Spain. The Moslems were 
taught that it was their duty to convert or extermi- 
nate the idolatrous heathen, but to respect "the 
people of the book." Did not Mohammed himself 
spread his cloak upon the ground for the Christian 
envoys who came to him, treating them with honour; 
and do not the Mussulmans believe that on the day 
of judgment the Judge will be Jesus Christ, while the 
Prophet Mohammed will stand at His side as the 
Intercessor? When the Turks conquered the terri- 
tories of the Christians they did not massacre the 
Christians, neither as a rule did they enslave them, 
and they did not interfere with their religion; under 
the more equitable Moslem rule the conquered Greeks 
found themselves less heavily taxed and generally 
better off than they had been under the rule of the 
emperors of the decaying Byzantine Empire. To 
Jews also, as being worshippers of the one God, they 
extended a like tolerance; and it was to Turkey — 



where they are numerous and prosperous and still 
speak an old Spanish dialect — that the Jews fled 
when they were driven out of Spain by the persecu- 
tions of Ferdinand and Isabella. 

That later on the Mohammedans developed a 
fierce anti-Christian fanaticism is largely due to 
centuries of political conflict with Christian peoples, 
and to the many wars that have been fought to 
defend Islam against the never-ceasing aggressions 
of Europe. Within the Turkish Empire itself, for 
example in Arabia and in Northern Albania, danger- 
ously fanatical Moslem populations are to be found, 
but these are not people of Turkish blood. The 
majority of the Turks of any education, though 
religious, are not fanatics, and on this very account 
are regarded as indifferent Mussulmans and often 
frankly called kafirs by the bigoted Arabs. Of all 
the various peoples who inhabit Turkey the Mus- 
sulman Turks are undoubtedly the least intolerant. 
The Christians of different sects there hate each 
other as no Turk hates a Christian and no Christian 
hates a Turk. The orthodox Greeks and the Bul- 
garian schismatics in Macedonia employ all methods 
of barbarism in their persecutions of each other. 
When Bulgaria formed part of Turkey the Bulga- 
rians had often to petition the Turks to protect them 
against the fanatical Greeks. The Catholic Latins, 
too, in Turkey, being in a minority, would doubtless 
have been exterminated by their fellow-Christians 
had it not been for the protection extended to them 
by the Turks, with the result that they are grateful 



and loyal to the Ottoman rule. The recent revolu- 
tion appears to have brushed away almost com- 
pletely what religious fanaticism there was still left 
among the Mohammedan Turks, and the Young 
Turks themselves, the deliverers of the nation and 
its real rulers, are entirely free from it. I have 
conversed with hundreds of these Young Turks and 
have many friends among them, and in no country 
have I come across more broad-minded and tolerant 
men. There is no doubt that Islamism has of late 
years undergone a modernising process, thereby gain- 
ing strength. The Sheikh-ul-Islam himself, as head 
of the Ulema — the Doctors of Law whose duty it 
is to interpret the judicial precepts of the Koran, 
and who have hitherto composed the most fanatical 
and conservative element in Turkey — has been at 
great pains to impress it upon the Mussulman peo- 
ple, upon whom from his position he exercises such 
great influence that the Constitution which has been 
granted to them, though introducing the principle 
of complete equality between Mussulmans, Chris- 
tians, and Jews, is quite in accordance with the 
teachings of the Koran. 

As I find myself embarked on this somewhat long 
defence of the Turkish people I may as well deal 
with another popular misconception concerning them. 
It is often urged that the Mohammedan institu- 
tion of polygamy, with its consequent degradation 
of women, is incompatible with the progress or with 
the moral and mental well-being of a race, and that 
this by itself makes the Turk unfit to rule in 



Europe. Now it must be remembered that many- 
distinct races profess the Mohammedan religion, and 
that some of these are barbarian and others deca- 
dent, even as are some of the races that profess 
Christianity; but it is not fair, because the Turks 
happen to be Mussulmans, that they should be 
credited with the faults and vices of some other 
Mussulman peoples. I have no intention of discus- 
sing the effects of polygamy, but I may point out 
that the Turk, unlike the Arab, appears to be not 
really polygamous by nature, and that whatever 
may happen in some other Moslem lands there is no 
degradation of the women in Turkey. The Turk- 
ish peasant women are as far from being degraded 
as any other women of their class in Europe. It 
may astonish some Englishmen to learn that the 
simple-living Turk of the upper and middle classes, 
though his religion permits him to marry four wives, 
rarely marries more than one. Of the Young Turks 
whom I have met, not one, I believe, has more than 
one wife, and I have heard several of them speak 
with disapproval of the custom of polygamy. Eng- 
lish ladies who have friends among the Turkish 
ladies have told us how refined, charming, and — 
in these latter days — well educated they are. As 
most Turkish gentlemen retain the old customs in 
their family life, the Englishman visiting the house 
of a Turkish friend has no opportunity of seeing his 
wife, but his little daughters up to the age of about 
twelve years are usually brought in by the proud 
father to see the visitor, just as they might be in 



England, when the pretty manners, the intelligence, 
and the careful education which they have evidently 
received (they nearly always speak French or some 
other European language) tell their own tale. The 
constant and deep veneration which a Turk enter- 
tains for his mother through life belies the nonsense 
that is sometimes talked concerning the condition 
of the women in Turkey. The Turkish woman, too, 
respected and trusted, is much freer than most peo- 
ple in this country imagine, and, as I shall explain 
later on, the revolution largely owed its success to 
her brave co-operation. 

One ought to be able to form some idea of the 
character of a people from its literature. Turkish 
literature, the classical form of which was borrowed 
from that of Persia, has, like many other things in 
Turkey, been undergoing a process of modernisation; 
it has for some years been under the influence of 
Western, more especially of French, literature; and 
simplicity and lucidity in the expression of thought 
has taken the place of the intentional obscurity and 
artificiality that characterise Oriental writing. Mr. 
Stanley Lane Poole, in the Turkey volume of the 
excellent "The Story of the Nations" series, con- 
cludes his chapter on Turkish men of letters as fol- 
lows: "The tone of the imaginative literature of 
modern Turkey is very tender and very sad. The 
Ottoman poets of to-day love chiefly to dwell upon 
such themes as a fading flower, or a girl dying of 
decline; and though admiration of a recent French 
school may have something to do with this, the 



fancy forces itself upon us, when we read those 
sweet and plaintive verses, that a brave but gentle- 
hearted people, looking forward to its future with- 
out fear, but without hope, may be seeking, perhaps 
unconsciously, to derive what sad comfort it may 
from the thought that all beautiful life must end in 
dismal death." I have met some of these modern 
Turkish poets, very manly fellows, though their 
work has the melancholy tinge described above, for 
which, in my opinion, a long political exile in a 
foreign land and sorrows for the evil fortunes of 
their beloved country are largely responsible. But 
now the days of Turkey's mourning are over, and 
the more recent poems of these men, who are sturdy 
patriots and not decadents, are beginning to reflect 
the triumph, enthusiasm, and hope which have char- 
acterised the Young Turks since their successful 
revolt against the despotism. 




SUCH are the people who but recently were 
spoken of as the "unspeakable Turks." 
For thirty years they have suffered from the 
cruelest of tyrannies and have met with but scant 
sympathy in Western Europe; for it was "their 
double misfortune," to quote the words of a writer 
in the Times, "to be oppressed and to be compelled 
to bear the odium of the cruelty of the oppressor. 
Their fine qualities were obscured to the world. 
Their name was a byword for cruelty, violence, and 
fanaticism." In England, if one attempted to de- 
fend the Turk, one was regarded as a cold-blooded 
villain by a great many good people. A considerable 
section of the English lost their sense of fair play so 
soon as the Turkish question became at the same 
time a pawn in our party politics and an excitant 
of religious bigotry; for one political party became 
avowedly anti-Turkish, while numbers of well-mean- 
ing but unjust Christian people approached the sub- 
ject from the point of view which made a Mussulman 
appear everything that is vile, and so espoused the 
cause of Turkey's Christian enemies as being of neces- 
sity the right one. It was the same sort of sectarian 



narrow-mindedness that impelled well-known preach- 
ers — not members of the English State Church — 
to pray from their pulpits for the success of the 
Americans in their war with Spain, because Spain 
was Catholic and the "land of the Inquisition." 
Thus it came about when Turkey's Christian sub- 
jects rebelled in the seventies and the Russians 
came to their assistance, the Turks were held up to 
opprobrium as fiends in human shape, the murderers, 
violators, and mutilators of the gentle Christians. 
Any piece of evidence, second-hand or third-hand, 
however extravagant, was implicitly believed by 
these people provided it was against the Turks, 
whereas whenever charges of committing atrocities 
were brought against Russians and Bulgarians by 
the most trustworthy eye-witnesses a very different 
standard of evidence was set up, and it was held to 
be incredible that Christians could do these things. 

Yet what were the facts? In the first place, there 
can be no doubt that Russia, bent on the destruc- 
tion of Turkey and aggrandisement at her expense, 
had stirred the Bulgarians into rebellion by means 
of agents provocateurs. Travellers who visited Bul- 
garia in the years preceding the Russo-Turkish war 
state that the Bulgarian peasantry were more pros- 
perous than any in Turkey. It is unlikely that they 
would have risen of their own accord, seeing that 
they had good reason to be grateful to the Turks, 
who had come to their rescue when their persecuting 
Greek fellow-Christians had set themselves to exter- 
minate the Bulgarian Church, language, and nation- 



ality. In the next place, it is now realised that the 
Christians and not the Turks initiated the atrocities. 
The Bulgarians, when they rose, plundered and 
burnt the villages of the Turks, committed the most 
shocking cruelties, and massacred unarmed Moslem 
men, women, and children. There is good evidence 
to show that the Turkish regular troops behaved with 
consideration to the Christian population until their 
passions were roused by the barbarities committed 
by the Bulgarians and Russian Cossacks; then indeed 
the Turks, exasperated by the sufferings of their 
co-religionists, engaged in terrible reprisals which 
aroused the indignation of the civilised world. Fero- 
cious when provoked by the cruelty of others, the 
Turks are the last people to engage in wanton cruelty, 
and those who like myself have seen their armies 
in time of war can vouch for their humane treat- 
ment of prisoners and of the civil population in an 
enemy's country. It must be remembered, too, that 
the worst atrocities proved against the Turks in Bul- 
garia were committed not by Turkish regulars but 
by fanatical Circassians and by the Bashi-Bazouks, 
ill-disciplined irregulars recruited from the criminals 
and ne'er-do-weels of any races, detested by the 
Turks themselves for their excesses. 

The evil name thus acquired by the Turk during 
the war with Russia stuck to him through the years 
that followed, and ignorant prejudice has been wont 
to put down to him all the cruel deeds committed by 
the Palace Camarilla, including the terrible Arme- 
nian massacres, which were perpetrated, not by the 



Turks — who regarded these crimes with loathing — 
but by the savage Kurds and Lazes, at the instiga- 
tion of those who misruled the unfortunate country. 
In many ways the Turks have suffered more from 
the oppressive despotism than their Christian fel- 
low-subjects, but all the sympathy of our humanita- 
rians has been for the latter, and they had little pity 
or sympathy to spare for the Mussulman. Of late 
years the political intriguers in Athens, Sofia, and 
Belgrade have been supporting bands of Christian 
brigands in Macedonia, with the object of forwarding 
the rival interests of the Greeks, Bulgarians, and 
Servians, in anticipation of the scramble over the 
partition of that rich country on the breaking up 
of the Ottoman Empire. These bands have been 
burning villages and murdering women and children, 
their excesses being committed against both Chris- 
tians and Turks. In April, 1908, a Bulgarian band 
burnt a Greek priest at the stake. The incident 
aroused no comment. What a howl would have 
been raised had the Mussulmans done this thing! 

So the Christian had plenty of friends and the 
Turk few. No voices were raised to defend him and 
to explain the injustice that was done him. Neither 
was he the man to put his own case before his Euro- 
pean critics; for the Turk is better with the sword 
than with the pen; he is not so cunning as Greek or 
Bulgarian in carrying on a newspaper campaign, or in 
the weaving of effective misrepresentations ; as a rule 
he is too proud to defend himself against calumny, 
and treats with silent contempt those who snarl at 



him. Moreover the Turk, being essentially a pa- 
triot, would not appeal for help to foreign Govern- 
ments as did the Christians. To quote from an 
article recently written by Halil Halid: "The Mus- 
sulmans suffered as much as, indeed in many places 
more than, the Christians, from a despotic regime. 
They had submitted, not to the will of their rulers, 
but to their hard fate, because Turkish patriotism, 
which has not until recently received fitting atten- 
tion, was too great to allow them to invite outside 
interference or help in the national struggle against 
native tyranny. Never despairing of gaining their 
end, the people of Turkey have waited for an oppor- 
tune moment to strike a blow at the foundations of 
despotism, and this promptly and with the least 
possible risk of international complications. They 
have thus submitted to the indignities and hardships 
caused by the tyranny of their own rulers, rather 
than expose themselves to the patronising interfer- 
ence of any foreign Power." 

There are thus excuses for the misunderstanding 
that poisoned the minds of so many Englishmen 
against their former friends, the Turks. Greeks, Bul- 
garians, and others who sought the dismemberment 
of Turkey and the appropriation of Macedonia voiced 
their cause loudly, not only with just denunciations 
of the Turkish oppression of the Christians, but with 
many plausible inventions. That the Turkish side 
of the question was so rarely heard was also largely 
due to the fact that, during the few years preced- 
ing the revolution, it became ever more difficult for 



Englishmen in Turkey to have friendly intercourse 
with the Turks themselves. The intervention of the 
English Government to introduce reforms into Tur- 
key, and the action of the Balkan and Armenian 
Committees, which were wrongly believed by the 
Sultan and his advisers — and appear still to be 
believed by all Germans and Austrians — to be the 
agents in advance of the perfidious English Govern- 
ment, so intensified the hatred of the Turkish des- 
potism against England that it was practically made 
a crime for a Turk, especially if he was suspected of 
Liberal tendencies, to receive an Englishman into his 
house. If a Turk was even seen to speak to an Eng- 
lishman in Constantinople the spies reported the fact 
to the Palace; and, as I shall explain later, to mani- 
fest sympathy for the British cost many a Turk his 
life and liberty. Thus the intelligent tourist, or the 
globe-trotting M.P., who visited Constantinople in 
those days was not in a position to pick up accurate 
information. His doings and goings would probably 
be watched by spies, especially if he was a member 
of the Balkan Committee. Though he knew it not, 
he would find no opportunity of conversing with 
Turks save such as were the secret agents of the 
Palace. His dragomans would be Greeks or Arme- 
nians, who might speak to him of the grievances of 
the Christian subjects of the Sultan, but certainly 
not of the grievances of the Turks. So, too, was it 
with most of the journalists. If they were anti- 
Turks they sought information from the members 
of the Greek and Bulgarian bands, and if they were 



pro-Turks they were on friendly terms with official- 
dom — they had audiences with ministers, possibly 
with the Sultan himself; and as all Turks are very 
polite, they often left the audience-chamber charmed 
with despotism, and explained, in the papers they 
represented, that the Young Turk party was either 
a myth or a small and impotent group of malcon- 
tents, who, during a sojourn in Paris, had absorbed 
the wild theories of the internationalists and anar- 

To drive the Turks "bag and baggage" out of 
Europe was the proclaimed policy of many ignorant 
humanitarians. The expulsion of the Turkish rule 
would indeed have been followed by a bag-and-bag- 
gage exodus, for but a small minority of Mussulmans 
would have remained in the land to be governed by 
a Christian race. In former years Russia and Aus- 
tria were regarded as the probable inheritors of the 
"Sick Man's" European territories, and it is certain 
that the rule of either of these would be intolerable 
to the Turks. One remembers how the Circassian 
and Bosnian Mussulmans emigrated in large num- 
bers into Turkey when their countries were occupied 
respectively by the Russians and Austrians. These 
emigrations were accompanied by great suffering 
and loss of life, due largely to the incapacity and 
callousness of the Turkish Government, which, while 
undertaking to found colonies of the refugees in Asia 
Minor, Mesopotamia, and other parts of the Empire, 
practically left them to starve. The humanitarians 
would have realised the cruelty of their proposal had 



they seen, as I did, the pitiful sights in Northern 
Albania thirty years ago. The Bosnian Mussul- 
man peasants, escaping from the rule of Austria, 
were pouring into that portion of Turkish territory. 
Men, women, and children were slowly crawling 
across the snow-covered country in the bitter win- 
ter weather, weak and listless with hunger and cold, 
often frost-bitten, hundreds of them failing by the 
way, so that it was a common thing to see frozen 
corpses lying by the roadside. The Albanians them- 
selves were in a half-starving condition after the 
ravages of the war, and could render little assist- 
ance to the wretched refugees. Under the bag-and- 
baggage scheme there would be an exodus of millions 
and unimaginable suffering. Had Europe committed 
this crime the retribution might have been heavy. 
The Sultan would still have been the Caliph of 
the Moslem world, and the Turks, driven into Asia, 
might have reformed their Government and set their 
house in order, even as they are doing now; but 
the Turkish awakening, instead of taking its pres- 
ent form, would have taken that of Pan-Islamism 
— the combination against the Christians of all the 
Mussulman peoples. 

The humane bag-and-baggage proposal would 
have meant the expulsion of nearly half the popula- 
tion of Turkey and the replacement of the Turkish 
by some other rule. But the Russianisation or Ger- 
manisation of the Balkan Peninsula would have been 
more disagreeable to the Christian population than 
even the domination of the Turk, while it would 



have been impossible to divide the country among 
the neighbouring states in such a way as to satisfy 
the inhabitants. In the peninsula are jumbled up 
remnants of every race and creed, not collected into 
separate districts, but intermingling with each other, 
hating each other, jealous of each other — Servians 
dreaming of the larger Servia, Bulgarians of the larger 
Bulgaria, Greeks of the larger Greece — their terri- 
torial claims, based upon race distinctions, all over- 
lapping each other; an entanglement of rival rights 
and interests impossible of unravelment. Neither 
of these Christian races would submit to be ruled by 
the other. For example, there can be no doubt that 
a Bulgarian would rather be governed by the Moslem 
Turk than by the Greek. And amid all these races, 
more numerous than any of them taken singly, are 
the ruling Turks, who own the fee simple of the land 
by the best of titles, conquest. They are the strong 
race whose bearing is in strong contrast to the servil- 
ity of some of the races in their midst. They are the 
masterly people fit to rule the others; for whatever 
peace fanatics may say, only people ready to fight 
bravely in defence of their possessions are fit to own 
possessions. We have not arrived at the state of 
civilisation when it can be otherwise. Even our 
humanitarians, who unknown to themselves have 
some of the old Adam in them, respect those who can 
use the sword; for whereas they sympathise with 
the aspirations of the plucky Bulgarians they pay 
little heed to the Greeks, who, though the noisiest 
of the claimants to Turkey's heritage and having 



vast pretensions which extend to every piece of terri- 
tory in Europe and Asia that ever belonged to any of 
the states of ancient Greece, are among the feeblest 
people in the world in the practice of war. 

It needs a strong rule to keep the rival Christian 
sects of the Balkan Peninsula in order and to pre- 
vent them from cutting each other's throats, lop- 
ping off each other's ears, and burning each other's 
priests. The Turks can provide that strong rule; 
and if we add to the Turks the Mussulmans of 
other race in the country — Albanians, Moslem Bul- 
garians, Circassians, and others — we have nearly 
half the total population united by a common relig- 
ion, as the Christians certainly are not. The Young 
Turks may now prove that Lord Palmerston, after 
all, was right when he said that the rule of the 
Mussulman Turk was the only one that could com- 
bine the different races and sects of Turkey in one 
kingdom. The Turks have no ambition to recover 
the territory which they have lost, but they are 
determined to hold on to what still remains to 
them. With a strong Turkey, in close alliance 
with a federation of the Slav states to the north of 
her, we may yet see a quiet and contented Balkan 




IT is about a century ago that Western ideas be- 
gan to influence the better Turkish statesmen 
and efforts were made to reform the system of 
government and bring it into harmony with modern 
civilisation. Mahmud II, who came to the throne 
in 1808, and his successor, Abd-ul-Mejid, who died 
in 1861, were wise and reforming monarchs, who 
were advised by enlightened statesmen such as 
Reshid Pasha, at whose instance, in 1839, the edict 
known as the Hatti-Sherif of Gulhane was promul- 
gated. This edict, which has been called the Magna 
Charta of Turkey, promised many useful adminis- 
trative and judicial reforms, and secured to the 
Christian as well as Mussulman subjects of the Sul- 
tan security for their lives, honour, and property. 
Again, in 1856, after the Crimean war, the Hatti 
Houmaioum Firman announced among other things 
the complete equality in the eyes of the law of 
the Christians and Mussulmans in Turkey. I need 
scarcely say that these solemn engagements have 
been wholly ignored by Turkey's recent rulers. 

In 1861, on the death of Abd-ul-Mejid, Abd-ul- 
Aziz succeeded to the throne of Othman. He was 



assisted by a group of patriotic and able statesmen, 
among whom were Fuad Pasha, Rushdi Pasha, Aali 
Pasha, and Midhat Pasha; and for the first ten years 
of his reign he ruled his country well. He made the 
Turkish navy one of the most formidable in Europe; 
he organised the army that fought so stubbornly at 
Plevna; justice was administered, and the press was 
free to criticise the Government. But this promis- 
ing monarch, unfortunately for his country, broke 
away from the tutelage of wise men and fell under 
the influence of evil advisers. On the death of Aali 
Pasha in 1872, Mahmud Nedim Pasha, a man who 
was fanatically anti-European and uneducated, be- 
came the chief adviser of the Sultan, and was soon 
created Grand Vizier. The character of the Sul- 
tan, seemed now to undergo a complete change; his 
policy became retrograde and reactionary; he drove 
from his side the good and wise and surrounded 
himself with corrupt parasites, who were in many 
cases the ready tools of Ignatieff; for the Russian 
diplomacy had gained the ascendency in Constan- 
tinople, and, as usual, was employed in intriguing 
against the party of reform and organising the dis- 
ruption of the Ottoman Empire. 

And now commenced that final struggle between 
the Palace and the Sublime Porte which has resulted 
in the overthrow of the Despotism. The Sultan, 
though the absolute head of the Church and State, 
had hitherto left the administration of the Empire 
to his Cabinet of Ministers chosen by himself, whose 
office is known as the Sublime Porte. Abd-ul-Aziz 



attempted to break down this system, and to centre 
in himself the entire rule of the country; soon the 
ministers became mere puppets, and the Palace was 
made paramount. The Sultan assumed the com- 
plete control of the Treasury, and refused to give 
any account of the public revenues which he wasted. 
He contracted loans in Europe under onerous con- 
ditions that endangered the very independence of 
the Empire. 

The patriots among the Turkish statesmen, who 
had been cast out from all direction of public affairs, 
almost despaired of their country, and the risings in 
Herzegovina and Bosnia, presaging European inter- 
vention, seemed to many to be the beginning of the 
end. The great Midhat Pasha, whom the Young 
Turks speak of as the first martyr of their cause, had 
the temerity to seek a two-hours' private audience 
of the Sultan, and pointed out to him with such 
forcible eloquence the corruption of his administra- 
tion, the incapacity of his Grand Vizier, and the 
certain destruction to which he was dragging his 
country, that Abd-ul-Aziz was terrified, his eyes 
were for a moment opened, and he saw the dread- 
ful truth; so deposing Mahmud Nedim he appointed 
Midhat and Rushdi as his principal ministers and 
advisers. For three months only these reforming 
statesmen were left in power, for Midhat Pasha was 
suddenly disgraced because he had expressed indig- 
nation when a favourite odalisque of the monarch 
had sent a negro to him to ask him to appoint one 
of her servants to a provincial vice-governorship. 



The system of Mahmud Nedim was reintroduced; 
things went from bad to worse; justice became 
openly venal; ranks in the services were sold by 
Palace favourites; the entire administration became 
grossly corrupt and disorganised; and at last, in 
1875, the Turkish Government had to declare itself 

Turks who had the welfare of their country at 
heart felt that it was necessary to put a forcible end 
to this state of things. On May 22, 6000 Softas, 
the theological students attached to the mosques, 
invaded the Sublime Porte and clamoured for the 
deposition of the Grand Vizier, while some thou- 
sands of others demonstrated in front of the Palace. 
The Sultan, terrified, yielded to these demands, de- 
posed Mahmud Nedim, recalled Rushdi Pasha; and 
a Cabinet of reforming statesmen, including Midhat 
Pasha, was formed. Then came the famous coup 
d'etat. The ministers, having reason to doubt the 
good faith of the monarch, decided to depose him. 
In the night of May 30, 1876, the Palace was sur- 
rounded by troops, the Chief Eunuch was called up 
and was ordered to awake his master and hand him 
the fetva, or decree of the Sheikh-ul-Islam, Hairoullah 
Effendi, in his capacity of chief expounder of the 
sacred law, a decree to which even a Sultan must 
submit. The fetva was set forth in the form of a 
question and answer as follows: "If the Head of the 
Believers has so lost his reason as to ruin the State, 
which God has confided to his care, by foolish ex- 
penditure, by wild caprices, and if the continuation 



of this misrule is likely to bring on a situation which 
will destroy the sacred interests of the country, is it 
permissible to leave that man at the head of affairs, 
or ought one to deprive him of his power? The an- 
swer is, that he ought to be deprived of his power." 
Thus the Sheikh-ul-Islam, in the name of the Mo- 
hammedan religion, approved of the revolution of 
1876, even as did another Sheikh-ul-Islam declare 
himself in favour of the recent Young Turk revolu- 
tion and the granting of the Constitution. It is im- 
portant to remember that despotism is not (as many 
suppose that it is) in accord with the teachings 
of the Koran, and that constitutional government 
ought not to be acceptable to good Mussulmans. 
Islam, as the Young Turks point out, condemns 
tyranny and encourages peoples to rule themselves. 
The following, for example, are passages from the 
Koran which have been much quoted in Turkey of 
late: "God loveth not tyrants"; "When a people 
direct their affairs by consulting among themselves 
they shall get their reward." 

So Abd-ul-Aziz was deposed and Murad V became 
Sultan in his place. The new monarch issued a 
proclamation by which he promised to carry out the 
reforms advocated by his minister, Midhat Pasha; 
and the well-wishers of Turkey rejoiced. But un- 
happy Turkey was not to be freed yet, and an event 
happened that turned hope into despair. Four days 
after his deposition Abd-ul-Aziz either committed 
suicide or was assassinated in the palace to which 
he had been removed. If he was murdered, he who 



committed the crime must have been the greatest 
enemy of Turkey, and none of the ministers could 
have had anything to do with a deed that upset all 
their plans for the regeneration of their country. 
So soon as Abd-ul-Aziz was found dead his Circas- 
sian aide-de-camp, Hassan, rushed to Midhat Pasha's 
house, where the ministers were assembled, and 
assassinated two of these whom Turkey could ill 
spare, Avni Pasha and Rachid Pasha. This suc- 
cession of tragic events so shook the weak mind of 
the new Sultan that he became hopelessly insane. 
After a reign of only three months it became neces- 
sary to depose him, and the legitimate heir, his 
brother, Abdul Hamid, the present Sultan of Tur- 
key, ascended the throne in the autumn of 1876. 

Abdul Hamid, however, was not permitted to 
grasp the sceptre until he had signed a document 
by which he undertook to grant a Constitution to 
his people and to rule with justice. Indeed, he was 
ready to make any promises, and accepted without 
reserve the liberal principles of Midhat Pasha and 
the reformers. No one in Turkey believes that he 
was sincere, and Sefer Bey recounts in La Revue 
how, on the very day of his succession, Abdul 
Hamid, on his return to the Palace, after having 
gone through the traditional ceremony of buckling 
on the sword of Othman, spoke in the following 
words to a well-known Turkish general of his en- 
tourage: "It is Reshid Pasha who is responsible for 
everything that has happened; it is that great crim- 
inal who made my father sign that accursed firman 



under the pressure of Europe, and by giving stupid 
illusions to the Turkish people has led them into 
wrong ways. The government which our nation 
needs is an absolute despotism, and not the perni- 
cious regime of liberty which Europe practises. I 
shall know how to put order in the ideas of the peo- 
ple, but before all, I must make my position secure 
and get rid of the wretches who deposed my uncle." 

At the opening of the new reign, however, the 
reformers looked to the future with hope. Midhat 
Pasha was appointed Prime Minister, and began to 
work out his scheme for the regeneration of Turkey. 
He framed his Constitution, which established the 
equality of all races and creeds, and took steps to 
crush the rebellion in European Turkey that was 
threatening to bring about a European war. Midhat 
was beloved by educated and patriotic Turks, and 
was strongly supported by the people; his position 
seemed unassailable. But before he had been four 
months on the throne Abdul Hamid struck his first 
blow at liberty, and showed what manner of man he 
was. Midhat was suddenly summoned to the Pal- 
ace, and on arriving there was informed that his exile 
had been determined upon and that he must forth- 
with board a vessel that was awaiting him in the 
Bosphorus with steam up, and betake himself beyond 
the confines of the Ottoman Empire. Then the Sul- 
tan set himself to put out of the way the other 
men who had taken a part in the deposition of 
Abd-ul-Aziz. Rushdi Pasha and the Sheikh-ul-Islam 
were exiled to remote parts of the Empire, while 



many less distinguished Liberals disappeared, being 
either killed or imprisoned. 

Midhat Pasha, the greatest of the Turkish re- 
formers, as an exile, lived in several European capi- 
tals, studied on the spot the principles of decent 
government, and formed plans for the amelioration 
of the condition of his unfortunate country when the 
opportunity should arrive. The Sultan appears to 
have come to the conclusion that his ex-Grand Vizier 
might be as dangerous to the Despotism while in 
Europe as he had been in Turkey. A plot, the de- 
tails of which are well known, was laid to bring 
about Midhat's destruction. He was led to believe 
that the Sultan had repented of his injustice, had 
come to see the errors of his illiberal policy, and 
desired that the able statesman should return to 
Turkey to give his valuable assistance in the reor- 
ganisation of the Empire. So, after a long exile, 
Midhat, accepting a treacherous invitation, came 
back to his native land, and was made Governor of 
Syria. Shortly after his appointment he was de- 
nounced to the Palace by false accusers, who were 
prepared to prove that Abd-ul-Aziz had been assas- 
sinated by Midhat's orders. After an iniquitous 
trial, by judges who pretended to credit the obvi- 
ous inventions of suborned witnesses, he was found 
guilty, and as it might have been dangerous to exe- 
cute a man so much beloved and respected, he was 
condemned to imprisonment in a fortress in Arabia. 
There he was treated with great inhumanity and 
deprived of all the comforts and some of the neces- 



saries of life. As his strong constitution resisted 
these privations for three years, he was strangled 
in May, 1884, by order of his persecutors, and his 
head was sent to the Palace, so that there should 
be no doubt about his death. 

The Sultan had rid himself of all the chief friends 
of liberty immediately after his accession to the 
throne, but, cautious and fearful by nature, he took 
no further immediate steps to impose absolute des- 
potism upon his people. Mainly with the object of 
hoodwinking England and winning her good-will at 
the critical period preceding the outbreak of the 
war with Russia, he proclaimed the Constitution of 
Midhat Pasha, and a Turkish Parliament was allowed 
to meet. The Sultan imposed his will upon the Par- 
liament and reduced it to impotence; but there 
were many patriotic deputies who spoke their minds 
freely and defied the monarch's wrath. At last, in 
February, 1878, shortly before the conclusion of the 
treaty of peace with Russia at St. Stephano, the 
Sultan dissolved both Houses, and, with pretended 
reluctance, suspended the Constitution. He next 
proceeded to deprive the Sublime Porte of all power 
and to make the Palace supreme. The ministers 
became mere puppets, whose submission was bought 
by the license that was allowed to them to embezzle 
the public funds. The control of the army and navy, 
of foreign affairs, of the finances of the Empire, every 
branch of the administration, the appointment of 
every official were in the hands of the Sovereign and 
his corrupt Camarilla. Having a pampered Praeto- 



rian Guard to enforce his will, he held Constanti- 
nople under martial law. It was a reign of terror; 
he spared none who were not for him. From the 
dissolution of Turkey's first Parliament in 1878 until 
the proclamation of the Constitution in 1908 Tur- 
key was oppressed by one of the most demoralising 
and destructive tyrannies that the world has known. 
For the Ottoman Empire those thirty years were the 
most unhappy and disastrous of its long history. 




THE Sultan's policy was directed by a narrow 
fanaticism. It is possible that he sincerely 
believed that a cruel despotism was the best 
rule for Turkey. He hated the Christians, and it 
was his ambition to realise the dream of the Pan- 
Islamites, to gather together round himself as the 
Caliph all the followers of the faith of whatever race, 
so as to form a strong political-religious confedera- 
tion of Moslems that should keep in check the aggres- 
sions of Europe and liberate Mussulman peoples 
now subject to the Christians. It was his aim, too, 
to withdraw all such rights as his predecessors had 
granted to the Christian subjects of Turkey and to 
revoke the irritating privileges which the Capitula- 
tions had given to foreigners within Turkish terri- 
tory — not in themselves ignoble designs, but which 
were prosecuted by such ignoble methods as nearly 
to destroy instead of to strengthen the Moslem su- 
premacy in Turkey. 

It is not necessary here to follow the history of 
Turkey under the Hamidian regime. How, defeated 
in war, she was bereft of vast and rich territories; 
how the splendid navy, created by Abd-ul-Aziz, was 



allowed to fall into decay, so that when Turkey was 
at war with Greece in 1897, she found herself with 
not a single ship that could be made fit to put to sea; 
how her fine army was starved and neglected, so that 
it became demoralised and helpless to defend her 
against her foes; how corruption and the wholesale 
appropriation of public moneys by the creatures of 
the Palace brought her finances into so hopeless a 
condition that she was tied hand and foot by her 
foreign creditors, and had therefore to submit to the 
control of several departments of her internal admin- 
istration by commissions appointed by the Christian 
Powers; how justice was bought and sold, and pro- 
motion in all the services was awarded to the par- 
asite or the highest bidder; how, in consequence 
of the massacres of Christians and the impotence of 
her Government to maintain order, Turkish patriots 
were humiliated by seeing a foreign gendarmerie 
forced upon her by the Powers; how, in short, Tur- 
key became so weak and effete that even to her 
friends her disintegration appeared to be the inevi- 
table end delayed only by the jealousy of the rival 
Powers, who, fearing for what is called "the balance 
of power" in Europe, bolstered up the "Sick Man" 
and professed a desire to preserve the integrity of 
the Ottoman Empire. All these things were re- 
garded with dismay by the Turks, and precipitated 
the revolution against the Government responsible 
for the rapid decay of the nation; but in this chap- 
ter I will confine myself to an account of the par- 
ticular forms which the despotic oppression of the 



Mussulman Turks assumed, until at last that op- 
pression became so insupportable as to goad into 
rebellion not only the upper classes, but even the 
ignorant Turkish peasants, who, serving so patiently 
and bravely in the army, had hitherto been ever 
faithful with the faithfulness of a dog to the Sul- 
tan's person. 

The Sultan has proved himself to be in many 
respects a man of great strength of character and of 
exceptional ability; a subtle diplomatist, he was able 
to play the European Powers against each other; 
and he succeeded in the main object of his life, cen- 
tralising all authority in himself at the cost of inde- 
fatigable personal labour, and making himself the 
supreme master of his country. He might indeed, 
with his sagacity, have been an excellent monarch 
of the despotic Oriental type, working for the good 
of his people, had it not been for one failing which 
grew into an obsession and brought much woe to 
Turkey, and this failing was fear. Abdul Hamid 
was haunted by a perpetual fear of assassination; 
he had no trusted friends, and suspected all men; 
and therefore cowardice, as is always the case, called 
in cruelty and oppression to protect itself. He sub- 
ordinated the welfare of his country to his elaborate 
schemes for self-preservation. He deliberately weak- 
ened the Ottoman Empire, dividing it against itself, 
and demoralised his subjects so that there should be 
no element in the State or group of individuals strong 
enough to attempt his overthrow. Thus he stirred 
up strife between the different Christian sects and 



inflamed Mussulman fanaticism, so that populations 
which before his time had lived side by side in peace, 
tolerating if not loving each other, fell upon each 
other with sword and fire; and when his oppressed 
subjects rebelled he quenched their spirit with dread- 
ful massacres. 

So, too, was it in his dealings with individuals, in 
the selection of his creatures and in his treatment of 
them. A tyrant who is enslaving his country nat- 
urally looks upon honest patriots with suspicion as 
potential rebels. He cannot well employ the ser- 
vices of such men as his advisers and ministers. He 
also mistrusts ability, as giving a power to be danger- 
ous. Thus Turkish gentlemen of the official class, 
who possessed distinction, brains, and probity, had 
very little share in the administration. The Cam- 
arilla of the Sultan was mainly composed of base 
and illiterate though cunning people; avaricious and 
unscrupulous parasites, of whom the most influential 
were not Turks, but Syrians, Arabs, and Circassians; 
men who, being devoid of true patriotism and hav- 
ing the attainment of wealth as their one aim, would 
have no reason for joining in a conspiracy against the 
Despotism. But the Sultan mistrusted even these 
ready instruments of his will. Having a profound 
knowledge of the evil side of human nature, he played 
off one creature against the other, made them jeal- 
ous of each other, paid them to spy upon each other, 
prevented any sort of friendship between them, and 
governed them by terror. The Camarilla, selling 
public appointments, spread the poison of corruption 



that threatened to demoralise a whole people. To 
quote the words of a Young Turk writer: "There 
was left in Turkey but one ideal, but one opening 
for those who aspired, and that was to amass 
riches and spend them in gross sensual amusement. 
But, for the attainment of this, one had to declare 
oneself the spy of the Palace, and to give proofs of 
one's servility by sacrificing father, mother, brother, 
friends, principles, conscience, all patriotic senti- 
ments, and all humanity." 

It is wonderful that there were any honest men 
holding high positions during this period, but such 
there undoubtedly were, though these were for the 
most part narrow-minded fanatics who favoured 
Abdul Hamid's Pan-Islamic schemes, and were 
pleased to co-operate with him in depriving the 
Christians of what liberties they possessed, and 
seizing pretexts to massacre them. But to the high- 
est offices of the State, such as the Grand Vizier- 
ate, the Sultan found himself compelled at times, 
in self-defence, to appoint men of capacity and high 
character; especially so when, after happenings more 
iniquitous than usual, the relations between Tur- 
key and the European Powers became dangerously 
strained. Thus Kiamil Pasha, concerning whose 
good work for his country I shall have to speak 
later, was several times Grand Vizier, to be deposed 
as soon as he could be dispensed with; for he was 
not the man to be obsequious to the despot, 
and he was not afraid of uttering disagreeable 
truths. On the whole, however, conspicuous ability 



became a disqualification for office in Turkey; and 
for a public man to be popular was a crime. 

In order to insure their blind obedience to him 
as the Padisha, it was Abdul Hamid's aim to keep 
his Mussulman subjects in a state of ignorance. 
He knew that the liberal ideas of modern Europe 
had been planted in Turkey, and he determined to 
uproot them, or at any rate prevent their spread. 
He endeavoured, not without some success, to cut 
Turkey off from the influence of Western progress. 
His subjects, with certain exceptions, were not 
permitted to travel in foreign countries, and even 
their goings to and fro within the Empire were 
regarded with suspicion. It has been suggested that 
he allowed his navy to rot because he feared lest his 
sailors should be inoculated with ideas about liberty 
while visiting Western ports; at any rate, he appears 
to have connived at the embezzlement by his Min- 
ister of Marine of ten millions sterling, which were 
to have been devoted to naval expenditure. Realis- 
ing, however, that the preservation of the Empire 
depended upon the reorganisation of his army, the 
Sultan was compelled to provide for the education 
of his officers, some of whom were sent to Ger- 
many and other foreign countries, while thousands 
were passed through the Turkish military schools in 
Turkey itself, where they were instructed by Euro- 
pean teachers. Officers thus trained, however, were 
looked upon as somewhat dangerous, and were 
attached to the Army Corps in various parts of the 
Empire, but not to that portion of the Turkish army 



which guards Constantinople, the centre of the Des- 
potism, and the Sultan's person; for there the pam- 
pered fanatical troops, faithful to their master, were 
officered by men who had risen from the ranks, 
some of whom could not even read, but who could 
be relied upon to carry out the orders given to them 
by the Palace. 

All progress was paralysed by the fear that ruled 
at the Palace. The introduction of typewriters and 
telephones as being of possible use to conspirators 
was prohibited. The Press had no liberty; the strict- 
est censorship was exercised over all printed matter 
that came into Turkey. To be found in possession 
of a work of Herbert Spencer's, for example, would 
mean imprisonment. The censor would not consent 
to the production of "Hamlet" in the theatre, 
because in that play the killing of a monarch is 
represented on the stage. 

Under the Hamidian regime there was of course no 
recognition of the inviolability of the domicile. The 
houses of educated Turks were frequently broken 
into by the police in search of forbidden literature. 
To such an extent was the right of public meeting 
denied, that it was not safe for three or four friends 
to sit and chat together in a cafe. A Turk could 
not give a dinner-party in his own house without 
the permission of the authorities, and even if he 
obtained that permission, some police agent would 
likely as not be sent to sit at his table, as an unin- 
vited and most unwelcome guest, taking mental notes 
of the conversation and smelling out conspiracies. 



It was altogether a hideous system that naturally 
bred all manner of tyrants, great and petty, who 
being the creatures of the Palace were enabled to 
oppress the people with impunity. There was, for 
example, the infamous Fehim Pasha, chief of the 
secret police, who abused his official authority to 
gratify his every whim and passion, plundering and 
blackmailing those whose possessions aroused his 
avarice, killing those who stood in his way, and, 
whenever his fancy was attracted, forcibly carrying 
off to his harem the wives and daughters of peace- 
able citizens — a wretch so hated that so soon as 
the Constitution was announced, the mob at Broussa, 
fearing him no longer, fell upon him and tore him to 

Then there was the great army of paid informers 
who preyed upon the people. The system of espion- 
age, which Abdul Hamid in his fear devised to pro- 
tect himself against conspiracy and assassination, was 
so oppressive and cruel in its working as to render 
almost insupportable the lives of such of his subjects 
as were regarded as suspects on account of their 
good birth, enlightenment, patriotism, or honourable 
character. The expenditure on this espionage some- 
times amounted to as much as $10,000,000 a year. 
The spies were everywhere, and were of every rank 
and condition. Ministers were paid to spy on each 
other. A man's house-servants, the Greek hotel- 
waiter who brought him his cup of coffee, the 
Armenian dragoman who guided the simple foreign 
tourist, were paid to watch and listen and send their 



reports to the Palace. Spies would gain a man's 
friendship, worm themselves into his confidence, 
and then denounce him. People were sometimes 
betrayed by their own relations. All the social 
relationships of the family, the military college, the 
regiment, and the navy were undermined; for if the 
Palace suspected a man it would spare no effort to 
buy the treason of those nearest to him. There 
was an atmosphere of terror and universal distrust. 
When the spy system was introduced into the army 
it destroyed all esprit de corps. It became known 
that there were spies among the officers of every 
unit, whose business it was to watch their brother 
officers; with the result that there was no comrade- 
ship even among officers of the same regiment, each 
suspecting the other of being the secret agent of 
the Palace; they never messed together, and in 
many cases had never spoken to each other. 

And even the spies themselves had other spies set 
to spy upon them by the all-suspicious ruler. The 
Sultan's spies were in every foreign capital — some- 
times working with its secret police — to keep an 
eye upon the exiles and seek evidence to entrap 
friends of theirs in Turkey who might be in com- 
munication with them. And from this great army 
of spies a flood of denunciations poured into the 
Palace. The denunciations were well paid for, so 
the supply never failed, even when the terrorised 
people avoided any conduct that could be construed 
into a political offence. Agents provocateurs incited 
men to acts that would afford ground for accusation. 



The spies did not hesitate to bear false testimony 
against the innocent, and, as in the case of Midhat 
Pasha, the creatures of the Palace, when desirous 
of ruining some individual, employed wretches to 
trump up the tale that would condemn him. A 
friend of mine suffered long imprisonment because 
the secret police searched his house and there pre- 
tended to find compromising papers which they 
themselves had forged. It is scarcely necessary to 
add that vile people availed themselves of the sys- 
tem to levy blackmail by threatening denunciation. 

The denounced were often condemned without 
any pretence of a legal trial. Many of the best 
men in the country disappeared from their families 
never to return, their fate the oubliette, or death 
by the cord, or the traditional dropping into the 
Bosphorus of a sack containing the victim. Exile 
or imprisonment for a term of years were the pun- 
ishments awarded for minor indiscretions — chance 
words expressing disapproval of the methods of the 
Palace, or the possession of a foreign paper of liberal 
views. People were tortured in the Palace to betray 
their friends and relations. Thousands of families 
in Turkey have had to mourn members torn away 
after denunciations by the spies. After the procla- 
mation of the Constitution about seventy thousand 
exiles returned to Turkey from remote parts of the 
Empire (the Siberias of Turkey) and from foreign 
countries, and how many thousands have been put 
to death or have died in captivity no man can tell. 

I may mention here that during the latter years 



of the Hamidian regime many Turks were denounced 
and suffered because they manifested friendship for 
the English. The Turks are not a fickle people, 
and despite the thirty years' aloofness of the Eng- 
lish through misconceptions regarding the Turkish 
people, the Turks themselves have ever remained 
faithful to their old friends, and the present enthu- 
siasm for England is no passing wave. But the 
Palace hated the British Government which had 
attempted to force reforms upon Turkey, and it sus- 
pected all Englishmen of sharing the views of the 
Balkan Committee. On the other hand, German 
influence became ascendant at the Palace about 
twelve years ago, and remained so until the over- 
throw of the Despotism; for German diplomacy is 
not sentimental; it did not worry the Palace with 
humanitarian pressure for the sake of securing the 
better government of the unfortunate subjects of 
the Sultan; and it even assisted the Porte to thwart 
the efforts of the other Powers. Its main object 
was to further German commercial interests. The 
German Embassy in Constantinople squeezed con- 
cessions out of the Turkish Government by curious 
methods, and knew well how to make use of Palace 
intrigues and corrupt officialism. Helped by their 
Government, German syndicates, with cynical dis- 
regard of the fact that they were hurrying the 
country to its ruin, worked in league with those in 
the Palace, who were ready to betray their father- 
land for a bribe, and secured the Baghdad railway 
concession with its iniquitous kilometric guarantee, 



and other privileges, on terms far more onerous for 
Turkey than could have been obtained from other 
quarters, thus burdening the country with unfair 
obligations, which now cripple her efforts for reform 
and reorganisation. 

But I must not digress into the tortuous ways of 
Turkish finance, which is outside the scope of this 
book. Suffice it to say that German influence at the 
Palace undoubtedly intensified the Sultan's hatred 
of England, and the obsequious spies received their 
cue. The English in Turkey were in no wise mo- 
lested, but they were declared taboo by the author- 
ities. For a Turk even to be seen talking to an 
Englishman was dangerous. Turks feared to look 
towards the English Embassy as they passed it. 
They were forbidden to visit certain English estab- 
lishments, such as the English book-shop in Pera, and 
the quaint old inn in Galata, built long ago by the 
Genoese, where, with a retired British sea-captain 
as host, naval officers, British and Turkish, had 
been wont to foregather in good fellowship. The 
spies were busily employed in denouncing such Turks 
as were supposed to be Anglophil. A friend of mine, 
who at that time held a good appointment and 
enjoyed a large income, was reported by the spies as 
having intrigued to bring the British fleet to Con- 
stantinople. He was imprisoned for five years. He 
was released with all other political prisoners after 
the successful revolution, and came back to the 
world to find himself penniless ; to learn that his wife, 
having first become blind from unceasing weeping, 



had died practically in a starving condition, and 
that his children were living on charity. 

It ought not to be forgotten by Englishmen that 
when they were engaged in their last war with the 
Boers, and all Europe was reviling them, the Turks 
alone — and notably those of the educated classes 
who now rule the country as the Young Turk party 
— were in sympathy with them, and some of them 
suffered in consequence. A number of young officers 
of the army and navy, and others, put their names 
to a document in which they expressed their hope 
that the British arms would prove successful in South 
Africa, and this they carried to the British Embassy 
to present to the English Ambassador. The Palace 
heard of this; the spies were set to work to ascertain 
what names appeared upon the incriminating docu- 
ment, and one by one every one of these men dis- 
appeared, being snatched up to be put into prison, 
or to be sent into exile. One of these young officers, 
Sirret Bey, escaped from those who arrested him, 
hid himself for some time in the guise of a cook in 
the British Consulate, and is now one of the leading 
members of the Committee of Union and Progress 
in Salonika. 

This dreadful system of espionage and the sup- 
pression of all intellectual liberty fell harder on the 
educated Mussulmans than on the Christian subjects 
of the Sultan, for despotism had no such fear of the 
Greek or Armenian as it had of the patriotic Turk, 
and the Christians therefore were not so closely 
watched and had more chance of public appoint- 



ment. The Christians also had one important advan- 
tage over the Mussulman Turks in so much as 
their privileges allowed them to establish schools 
uncontrolled by the State, which provided a more 
liberal education than was possible in the Moslem 
schools. It can be readily understood, therefore, 
how patriotic Turks of the upper and middle classes, 
ground down under this tyranny that gave them no 
voice in the administration and placed over them 
mean men who were hurrying the country to its 
destruction, were prepared to join in any movement 
that promised a fair chance of overthrowing the 
Hamidian regime. 

It is also easy to understand that the Christians, 
who during this reign were deprived of some of their 
ancient rights, who were treated with a more galling 
contumely than ever before, as a subject and despised 
people, and lived in perpetual dread of massacre and 
outrage, welcomed the revolution that placed them 
on an equality with the Mussulmans; but how it 
came to pass that the Despotism became so intol- 
erable to the masses of the Turkish people as to 
excite to rebellion even the patient, religious Moslem 
peasants, who had hitherto revered the Sultan as 
their spiritual ruler as well as their monarch, and 
had been blindly and fanatically obedient to his will, 
requires some explanation. The thrifty, hard-work- 
ing Turkish peasants suffered as much as the Chris- 
tians from the evils of the administration; they paid 
the same heavy taxes, and, like their Christian neigh- 
bours, they were cheated by the tax-collectors, being 



often illegally mulcted and most harshly treated 
by petty tyrants. The provincial officials did not 
receive their pay regularly, and so recouped them- 
selves by corrupt practices. Thus the rich, by paying 
bribes, succeeded in many cases in avoiding taxation 
altogether, and many unfair exemptions were allowed ; 
with the result that in some places nearly all the 
burden of taxation fell upon the poor. The peas- 
ants were shrewd enough to perceive that the money 
thus wrung from them did not produce any good for 
themselves or their country, but went to enrich the 
ruling clique, and that Constantinople swallowed up 
the huge sums that were collected in every part of 
the Empire. They knew that there were Ministries 
established in costly palaces and maintaining a large 
number of well-paid officials, while the result of this 
extravagant expenditure was not anywhere to be 
seen. Thus there was a Ministry of Public Works, 
but there were no roads or irrigation works; a Min- 
istry of Police, but no protection of life and property; 
a Ministry of Justice, and no justice; a Ministry of 
War, and a starved army. 

But the stoical Mussulman peasants, whose faith- 
fulness is as that of a dog, were loth to think ill of 
their Sultan, and they put the blame upon his Min- 
isters as doing wrong without his knowledge. Op- 
pression and unjust taxation by themselves would 
not have driven these people into revolt, and the 
Young Turk movement would have had small 
chance of success, had not Abdul Hamid neglected to 
secure — what would have been so easy to secure — 



the continued fidelity and affection of his army, of 
which the splendid peasantry of the country form 
the backbone. I have explained that the Sultan 
was careful to pamper the Albanian and other regi- 
ments that were stationed in Constantinople to pro- 
tect his person, overawe the city, and preserve the 
Despotism; and he saw to it that these men duly 
received their pay, were well fed and properly clothed. 
But with this exception the military administra- 
tion of the Empire was left wholly in the hands of 
the Palace favourites, who, with their character- 
istic greed and total lack of patriotic sentiment, 
enriched themselves at the expense of the national 
defence and, with a callous indifference to the suffer- 
ings of the men, practically starved the army. 

In Turkey, the burden of obligatory service is 
placed exclusively on the Mussulman population, 
the Christians up till now having enjoyed complete 
exemption, in return for which they have paid a 
small poll-tax. The Turkish soldier is among the 
toughest as well as the bravest in the world, and he 
will undergo great hardships uncomplainingly; but 
there are limits even to his endurance. It would 
be difficult to exaggerate the pitiable condition of 
these fine troops, as I have often seen them in pro- 
vincial garrisons and posts in the days of the old 
regime. They never received their full rations; 
sometimes they were in a starving condition; they 
were ill-clothed even when guarding the frontier 
through the hard Balkan winters; often in rags and 
tatters, with what remained of their uniforms sup- 



plemented with such native garments as they could 
pick up; their small pay was always in arrears; they 
were untrained and undisciplined — a pitiful waste 
of the finest military material in Europe; and the 
officers themselves irregularly paid, slovenly, because 
they had no means to procure the decencies of life, 
and estranged one from the other by the hateful spy 
system, were in no condition to inspire their men 
with the high spirit and esprit de corps that used to 
distinguish the Turkish army. But despite all this, 
when fighting had to be done these men remembered 
that they were Turkish soldiers, and fought well. 

The Turkish soldier might even have put up with 
all this during his four years of service with the 
colours, for it takes much to rouse him to mutiny; 
but his oppression took one form that was intolerable 
to him and to his family; the iniquitous custom grew 
up of keeping him with the army for several years 
after his term of service had legally expired; and the 
reservists also, when called out for their periodical 
training, were not infrequently carried off to remote 
parts of the Empire and compelled to resume their 
military service for an indefinite time. The worst lot 
of all was that of regiments ordered to the Hedjaz 
or the Yemen. In those wild regions the wretched 
troops, ill-equipped, with wholly inadequate trans- 
port, and therefore always short of food, and gener- 
ally provided with insufficient ammunition, had to 
carry on long campaigns against the rebel Arabs. 
They thus suffered great privations, and were not sel- 
dom defeated and massacred in consequence of the 



criminal negligence of Turkey's rulers. Educated 
surgeons were rarely attached to these expeditions, 
and I have been assured by old soldiers, who had 
served in Arabia, that if a man was sick or wounded, 
so that he was unable to march, there was little 
chance for him, as there were no means for carrying 
him; and that in these circumstances the ignorant 
and ill-paid men who played the part of army doc- 
tors, after pretending to examine a man, would de- 
clare that he was in a dying condition, and had him 
buried in the sand while yet alive. It often hap- 
pened, too, that soldiers in Arabia, when they did get 
their discharge — probably because they were unfit 
for further service — were refused transport back to 
Turkey on the Government ships, and, being penni- 
less, had to remain in that alien land until charitable 
people, of whom there are happily plenty among the 
Turks, came to their rescue. A friend of mine, who 
was recently British consul in a Turkish port, after 
careful investigation in his particular district, found 
that not more than twenty per cent, of the soldiers 
who were sent to the Yemen returned to their homes. 
Whenever conscripts were carried away for service 
in that dreaded land there were piteous scenes, and 
crowds of wailing women would come to the ship's 
side to bid a last farewell to the relatives whom they 
never expected to see again, and already mourned 
as dead. 

Under this shocking system of military maladmin- 
istration there was a great waste of Turkey's young 
manhood. The rate of mortality in the army was 



excessive, and this was one of the principal causes 
of the standstill in the numbers of this, the finest 
peasantry in Europe, as compared with the rapid in- 
crease of the exempted Christian population . These 
conscripts, when they were torn from their homes, 
often left behind them wives and families dependent 
on them, so the whole Mussulman people suffered 
greatly through the vile treatment of the army, that 
was the best part of itself and in which every one 
had relatives; and at last it came about that even 
the faithful peasantry lost its loyalty, and, like the 
Moslems of the higher classes, was ready to rise and 
sweep away the intolerable Despotism. 




FOR the last few years — that is, ever since the 
victorious war waged by Japan against Rus- 
sia demonstrated to the peoples of the East 
that an Oriental country could break away from the 
conservative traditions that oppose progress, and 
make itself respected as one of the great civilised 
powers of the world — a remarkable growth of 
nationalism throughout Asia has attracted the close 
attention of observers in Europe. The East that 
gave the West its early civilisation is now taking 
its political ideals from the West. In India, China, 
Persia, and Egypt national parties have risen whose 
aim it is to free their countries either from native 
despotism or from European tutelage, and to intro- 
duce forms of self-government modelled on those of 
modern Europe. But though much has been written 
and said concerning the awakening of the popula- 
tions of the above-mentioned countries, it is curious 
that there was no talk of any political movement 
in Turkey, the nearest to Europe of the Eastern 
nations, until July, 1907, when the world was sud- 
denly amazed to learn that what appeared to be an 
unpremeditated military mutiny in Macedonia had 



compelled the Sultan to grant a Constitution to his 

This Moslem revolution, that had been so long 
preparing and was so well organised, came as a com- 
plete surprise even to such European residents as 
knew the country best, including the Ambassadors of 
the Powers in Constantinople and their Consular rep- 
resentatives throughout the Empire. None of these 
gave any warning to their respective Governments 
of what was coming. None of the newspaper corre- 
spondents in Turkey, none of the globe-trotting 
M.P.s and members of the Balkan Committee who 
were seeking an understanding of Turkish affairs on 
the spot, had any inkling of the wide-spread conspir- 
acy that was to upset the Despotism with its first 
blow. It had been long known, of course, that 
there existed a group of exiled politicians who called 
themselves the "Young Turkish Party." But this 
party was not taken seriously, for its critics little 
knew that it represented all that was intelligent and 
enlightened in Turkey. It was regarded as a little 
band of mad anarchists, or at best of foolish vision- 
aries. An ambassador described the movement as 
"innocuous," while some regarded it as "bogus," 
and denied even the virtue of sincerity to these 
patriots. It was written of them in an authorita- 
tive work that "a large proportion of them had gone 
into an exile with the express object of being per- 
suaded to return," that is, of being reclaimed by the 
Sultan's bribes. An Englishman who has lived all 
his life in Turkey thus summed up his opinion: 



"The Young Turkey association — lacking, as it 
does, pecuniary resources, cohesion, definite purpose, 
and capable leaders, has not shown itself a formi- 
dable organisation." Our humanitarian agitators had 
a complete misapprehension of the aim of the move- 
ment, and were apparently convinced that no good 
thing would come from the modern Turks. But the 
Young Turks all the while knew what they were 
about, what they wanted, and how to set to work 
to get it; and the organisation that for years was 
preparing the revolution worked so secretly as to 
conceal the importance of the movement from the 
Palace spies themselves. 

No great political movement can be of sudden 
growth if it is going to meet with permanent success, 
and though the ultimate explosion may take by sur- 
prise those outside the movement, the revolution of 
a serious people is the result of long brooding and 
gradual development of opinion. From the time of 
the Sultan Mahmud II, who ascended the throne 
one hundred years ago, the better and more patriotic 
statesmen of Turkey have made efforts to bring the 
system of government into accord with the methods 
of advancing Europe. The influence of Western 
ideas made themselves felt throughout European 
Turkey, and began to modify the intellectual out- 
look, the ideals, and the social customs of the edu- 
cated classes. The change, as I have pointed out in 
a previous chapter, was reflected in Turkish litera- 
ture, which about forty years ago became Western 
in sentiment and style, and the literary language 



itself was modernised by a group of writers of whom 
Kemal Bey, historian, poet, philosopher, dramatist, 
and novelist, was pre-eminent, a genius whose works, 
published in Europe, were not allowed to enter Tur- 
key during the Hamidian regime, but whose splendid 
war hymn, the "Silistria," the penalty for singing 
which was formerly death, now has the same stir- 
ring effect upon the revolutionary Moslem crowds 
as had the "Marseillaise" upon the French. As the 
facilities for education, the schools and colleges, 
multiplied in Turkey, the thirst for scientific knowl- 
edge and the culture of Western Europe spread 
through the country, and with enlightenment and 
education naturally came the liberalism of the West 
and intellectual revolt against the paralysing in- 
fluence of some time-honoured institutions and 

It is scarcely accurate in these days to speak of 
the Turks — as one often hears them spoken of — 
as the finest of Oriental races. The Turks have been 
five hundred years in Europe, during which they 
have intermarried largely with Europeans, and they 
are now to all intents and purposes Europeans, more 
so, indeed, than some of their neighbours on the 
continent of Europe itself, a fact which would be 
more generally recognised were it not for the barrier 
raised between them by the difference of religion. 
Thus it has come about that the modernist move- 
ment in Turkey is much more in touch with Western 
ideas than is that of the other awakening peoples of 
the East, who differ so much from Europeans in race 



and character, and whose awakening has to a large 
extent taken the form of antagonism to European 
influence and a desire to free themselves from the 
European hegemony. On the other hand, the Turk- 
ish reformers wish to attach the Turkish race to 
Europe and not to Asia; their sympathies and culture 
are now Western and not Eastern; they wish Turkey 
to be recognised as one of the civilised countries of 

It is partly on this account, too, that the Young 
Turks have repudiated Pan-Islamism, the form which 
the modern awakening of the Moslem nationalities 
has taken in some parts of the Eastern world — that 
combination of Mohammedans of all races to resist 
the Christian nations, of which, as I have explained, 
Abdul Hamid himself was an advocate. It was a 
movement, which, if successful, might have restored 
to Islam its glory and its conquering might, but it 
would have brought with it the recrudescence of re- 
ligious fanaticism and the impossibility of progress 
on modern lines. 

The views of the Young Turkey party on this 
subject were thus expressed by one of their organs: 
"We Ottomans belong to a race sufficiently intelli- 
gent and practical to understand that the pursuit 
of the Pan-Islamic designs of the visionaries would 
be contrary to our dearest interests." The Young 
Turk is a patriot whose first thought is for his 
own fatherland; he is working for its liberation 
and its progress, and hopes to make it again strong 
and respected of the nations. But Pan-Islamism he 



leaves alone, and it will be remembered that the 
Turkish Constitutional party gave no encourage- 
ment to the Egyptian Nationalists, whose aspirations 
have a Pan-Islamic character. 

On the other hand, the Young Turks have made 
it clear that theirs is not an irreligious movement, 
and that Moslem fanatics cannot with justice accuse 
them of holding the rationalistic views of the French 
revolutionaries, and of being bad Mussulmans. 
Writers have described this as a party of agnostics. 
This is an incorrect statement, and were it believed 
by the Turkish people the Constitution would have 
but a short life. There are, of course, some Young 
Turks who, during their exile in Paris and other 
European cities, have acquired rationalistic views; 
but the great bulk of them are faithful Moslems. 
There have been at times agnostics in the English 
Parliament, but it would not be fair on that ac- 
count to dub England a nation of unbelievers. The 
Young Turkish movement, indeed, far from being 
irreligious, is tempered with the faith of Islam; 
but, as a French writer recently put it, with these 
reformers Islamism is a motive and not an end. 

But the Mohammedanism of the enlightened 
Turks who compose the Young Turk party is a very 
different thing to the fanatical and narrow creed of 
the Arab; for it is wholly and sincerely tolerant. 
There has been an awakening of the religion of Islam 
itself, and it is now being proved to an astonished 
world that the ancient dogmas of Mohammedanism 
are no more immutable than those of other creeds. 



Even as the Christianity of the Middle Ages, which 
burnt heretics and regarded science as the invention 
of the devil, has adapted itself to modern ideas, 
so at last has it come to pass with the supposed 
unchangeable doctrines of the Moslem Church. 
Enlightened Mussulmans are doing their best to 
bring their religion into conformity with modern 
ideas and the progress of an enfranchised people. 
In India, Persia, and Turkey learned doctors of the 
sacred law are showing that many accepted doctrines 
are not enjoined by the Koran itself, but have been 
grafted on the religion by various commentators; 
and therefore, even as the Reformation in Europe 
rejected much that had been superimposed on prim- 
itive Christianity and went straight back to the 
Bible, so does the present Moslem reformation reject 
many of the commentaries and go straight back to 
the Koran, bringing new interpretations to bear 
upon the Book itself, with the result that the doctors 
have been able to prove that the strictest Mussul- 
man can reconcile it with his conscience to accept 
the Constitution, that Islam is essentially liberal and 
democratic, that to remove oppression and corrup- 
tion is to obey the teachings of the Koran, and that 
the granting of equal rights to Christians and Mus- 
sulmans — a reform which was the stumbling-block 
to many Mohammedans — is in no wise opposed to 
the injunctions of the Prophet. 

The Young Turk movement is therefore Nation- 
alist and not Pan-Islamic, and the policy of these 
reformers is opportunist. Liberal-minded them- 



selves, they have had to bear in mind that Turkey- 
in-Asia holds some of the most conservative and 
fanatical Moslems in the world; so they had to go 
delicately to work when they began necessarily to 
interfere with some cherished traditions. The exile 
of these young men afforded them the opportunity 
of getting into contact with educated Indian and 
other Mussulmans, learned in Moslem law, from 
whom they received considerable assistance. It will 
be remembered that the Sheikh-ul-Islam, as repre- 
sentative of the mollahs and the interpreters of the 
Koran in Turkey, gave the Young Turk movement 
the sanction of the faith, rebuked the fanatics who 
had preached against reform as being irreligious, and 
compelled them to stay their mischievous vapour- 
ings. Had it not been for this support the revolu- 
tion would have been impossible. But it may not 
be generally known that the theological arguments 
which convinced the Sheikh-ul-Islam that this was 
the right attitude to take were drawn up for him by 
a faithful subject of King Edward VII, Ameer Ali, 
ex-judge of the High Court in India, and a learned 
exponent of Moslem thought and tradition. It was 
Ameer Ali who recently introduced the deputations 
of Indians that waited on Lord Morley to plead the 
cause of the Moslems in India who, by the scheme 
proposed by the Government, were not to be given 
due representation on the Councils. 

The awakening of Turkey, the growth of liberalism, 
and the thirst for knowledge among the educated 
Turks, including even the Ulemas, whom the world 



regarded as the most narrow-minded of Mussulman 
conservatives, were largely encouraged by the very 
measures which Abdul Hamid had taken to suppress 
these ideas and movements so dangerous to his des- 
potism. Men of ability, being suspected by the Pal- 
ace, and living in perpetual dread of the espionage 
which enveloped them like some hideous nightmare, 
were unable to associate with each other freely, and 
had to live isolated lives, the tedium of which they 
relieved by reading, with a greater avidity than is 
displayed in other countries, where men have wider 
scope for their intellectual energies, works on history, 
philosophy, and law, and other literature which were 
smuggled into Turkey across her land and sea fron- 
tiers. In latter days the Turkish exiles in Europe 
succeeded in pouring prohibited literature whole- 
sale into Turkey, but at first the supply was small; 
one book, passed secretly from one man to another, 
would be read by hundreds, and young men greedy 
for instruction even went to the pains of copying out 
with their own hands bulky volumes which they had 
borrowed. Many a man who considers himself to 
be well read would feel ashamed on discovering how 
much wider than his own is the knowledge of English 
literature possessed by some of his friends among 
the Young Turks. The Sultan, too, unintentionally, 
spread far and wide the very influences which it was 
his desire to destroy, for by driving thousands of 
educated men out of Constantinople into exile in 
various provinces of his Empire, he made of these, 
missionaries of enlightenment, liberalism, and political 



discontent. Those also who were exiled to foreign 
countries and lived in Paris and other Western capi- 
tals came under the immediate influence of modern 
ideas, and, communicating with their friends in Tur- 
key, inoculated them with their own views. Thus 
it came about that the whole Empire was gradually 
leavened with dissatisfaction with the Sultan's rule, 
and the ground was prepared for the revolution. 




IT is about forty years since one first heard of 
a Young Turk party. Abd-ul-Aziz, having 
broken the early promises of his reign, had 
made himself the absolute despot, and had crushed 
the liberalism that from the time of Mahmud II had 
been gaining ground in Turkey. A number of edu- 
cated men then fled from the country to Paris and 
London, and, calling themselves the "Young Turks," 
started a movement whose object it was to agitate 
for the introduction of reforms into the government 
of their native land. Among them were men of 
great ability, including the illustrious Kemal Bey; 
and all the Turkish literature of that period that had 
any value was produced by this group of "intellec- 
tuals." They published a paper called the Hurriet, 
which is the Turkish word for liberty, in which they 
exposed in an unsparing fashion the corruption, inca- 
pacity, and lack of patriotism of the high officials 
and advisers of the Sultan. The outspoken Hurriet 
alarmed the Palace, and was of course placed on the 
black list; but it was smuggled into the country, 
exercised a great influence, and effected its purpose of 
spreading antagonism to the existing state of things. 




Liberalism, as we have seen, waxed strong enough 
to have its way for a short period in Turkey. Abd- 
ul-Aziz was deposed, and Midhat Pasha and the 
patriotic statesmen who were his associates began to 
introduce their reforms. Many of the Young Turks 
returned from Europe to support the new Consti- 
tutional Government, some sitting in the short-lived 
Parliament which the present Sultan opened on his 
accession to the throne. 

Those who loved Turkey thought that the day of 
her regeneration had dawned at last; but the dis- 
illusionment soon came, for Abdul Hamid, in the 
spring of 1878, dissolved the Parliament, suspended 
the Constitution, and commenced his ruthless per- 
secution of liberalism. So the Young Turks were 
once again scattered over the face of the earth; 
some were imprisoned; some were exiled to distant 
provinces of the Empire; some escaped to Europe; 
and such as were allowed to remain in Turkey as 
free men, had to conduct themselves warily and shun 
politics, living as they did under the sleepless eyes 
of the ubiquitous espionage. 

For about fifteen years after this date one heard 
nothing of the Young Turkey movement. If it 
existed it had little if any organisation, and had no 
power. To all appearances it had been stamped out 
effectually by the suppressive measures that had 
been taken by the Palace. One came across mem- 
bers of the scattered band in European cities, earning 
their living as teachers of languages and in other 
capacities, but these rarely spoke to foreigners of 



what was in their hearts, for they found few sympa- 
thisers with the sorrows of Turkey. 

But though "Young Turkey" showed no signs of 
life it was not dead. In Constantinople and other 
big Turkish cities the visitor from Europe would 
never hear the movement spoken of; the word hur- 
riet was, so to speak, expunged from the Turkish 
dictionary, and to have been heard uttering it would 
have brought denunciation as a traitor. But in far 
parts of the Empire tongues wagged more freely, and 
the memory of the reformers was kept green. In the 
autumn and winter of 1879 I was wandering over 
that wildest region of all Europe, Northern Albania, 
and there I found that men were speaking very 
plainly indeed; for the espionage system was not 
then fully organised, and at any rate it had not 
reached that lawless province, where the Government 
was helpless, and inspired neither respect or fear. 

At the period of my visit, Albania, a country which, 
as I shall show later, took a prominent part in 
the recent revolution, was in a state of positive 
anarchy — the gendarmerie on strike, the mutinous 
soldiers refusing to salute their officers, neither hav- 
ing received pay for months, while the natives held 
seditious meetings publicly and unmolested in the 
mosques of the garrison towns, in which rebellion 
against the Porte was fearlessly advocated. The 
army officers with whom I conversed despaired of 
their country, and those who had been in Constan- 
tinople said that the one hope for Turkey — an ad- 
ministration under the direction of men of Midhat 



Pasha's stamp — had been destroyed. The army 
doctors in Scutari — for the most part Armenians — 
were still more outspoken, and advocated the depo- 
sition and even killing of the Sultan. One of these 
doctors described the condition of the country to me 
in the following words: "You have no idea of what 
a corrupt, vile thing this Turkish Government is. 
The Court eats all the country. We who work, the 
employes of the State, the doctors, the soldiers, never 
receive any pay now. As long as they think they 
can obtain our labour for nothing, not a para will 
they let slip through their fingers. Look at my case. 
I have been a doctor in the Turkish army for forty 
years. I have been through the Crimean war, over 
all Asia, in the service of Turkey. I am entitled to 
a good pension. I have been day after day to the 
offices at Constantinople, and put my case before 
the authorities. They put me off with all sorts of 
fair promises, but I knew what these meant, so went 
to them day after day, and worried them so much 
that they decided to get rid of me in some way. 
'There is a permanent hospital in Scutari in Alba- 
nia,' they told me. 'In consideration of your long 
service we appoint you as head doctor of it. Start 
at once to your post.' Now that I have travelled 
all this way, at my own expense, mind you, what do 
I find? The permanent hospital no longer exists — 
it is a myth, and they knew it in Constantinople all 
the time, and no doubt chuckled merrily, when I 
had turned my back, at the clever way they had rid 
themselves of the importunate old nuisance." Then 



lie went on to speak of the sufferings of the troops, 
and assured me that, faithful and obedient as they 
were by nature and tradition, they would not put 
up with the vile treatment much longer, and that a 
military mutiny was brewing which would destroy 
the Despotism within a few months. In this opin- 
ion he was wrong, for thirty years had to roll by 
before the event which he predicted actually came 
to pass. He also spoke to me of men of the Young 
Turk party whom he met in Constantinople during 
the brief period of free institutions. He much 
admired their tolerance, and asked me whether I 
thought that the Young Turk refugees in England, 
by explaining Turkey's trouble, would be able to 
persuade the British Government to champion the 
cause of Turkish liberty. 

I discovered, too, that the fame of Midhat Pasha 
as an honest, just, and patriotic statesman had 
spread throughout that wild country, and it is not 
to be wondered at that the Sultan, fearing him, 
brought about his destruction, and so made him 
the first martyr of the Young Turkey cause. The 
Mussulman Albanians themselves greatly revered 
Midhat, and regarded him as their possible saviour. 
They had at that time formed themselves into the 
organisation known as the Albanian League, whose 
object it was in the first place to resist by force of 
arms the handing over to Montenegro of the Alba- 
nian town and district of Gussinje, which, by the 
terms of the treaty of Berlin, Turkey had ceded to 
the mountain principality; and in the second place 



to throw off the yoke of the Sultan. The leagues- 
men were then the masters of Albania. They de- 
cided on, and carried out, the murder in Jakova of 
Mehemet Ali, the general who had been sent by the 
Porte on the dangerous mission of negotiating this 
transfer of Turkish territories to her enemies, and 
about eight thousand of them, Albanians, Mussul- 
man refugees from Bosnia, and deserters from the 
Turkish army, were holding Gussinje under the lead- 
ership of Ali Bey. Gussinje, by the way, still be- 
longs to Turkey; for the Great Powers who had 
given it to Montenegro were unable to enforce with 
the cannon of their warships the surrender of a place 
lying amid the mountains of the interior; so Mon- 
tenegro ultimately had to content itself with another 

I crossed the mountains that lie between Scu- 
tari and Gussinje, and narrowly escaped having my 
head cut off as a Russian spy on one occasion; but I 
succeeded in seeing a good deal of the Albanian 
leaguesmen. In the course of conversation with one 
of their chiefs he spoke to me as follows: "The men 
who rule in Constantinople, what do they do for us? 
Tax us, rob us — that is all. And what do they 
give us in return for what they steal? Can they de- 
fend us, protect us? No! They have sold our lands 
to the Montenegrins and the Austrians. I tell you 
that we of the League have sworn that we will 
have the Turk no more. Albania shall have her 
independence and the Powers shall recognise us. 
If they do not, we care not. Leave us alone; that 



is enough for us." Then turning suddenly to me, 
he asked, "What do you English think of Midhat 
Pasha?" I told him of the esteem in which Midhat 
was held by my countrymen; he seemed pleased on 
hearing this, and said, "The Turks will not have him, 
but we will. What we wish is to create an indepen- 
dent Albanian principality, with this good man Mid- 
hat Pasha as our prince." I have described these 
experiences of mine in Albania to show how things 
were shaping in the outer provinces of Turkey thirty 
years ago, and how, though one heard nothing of 
the Young Turks in Europe, the seed they had 
sown had not fallen on barren ground; so that at 
last, when the time was ripe, the people of Turkey, 
remembering what their fathers had told them of the 
good Midhat, were ready to range themselves by the 
side of his disciples. 

But from the year 1878, when the Constitution 
was suspended, until 1891 there appears to have 
been no Young Turk organisation, though the num- 
ber of Turks who longed for deliverance from a 
detested regime was increasing by leaps and bounds. 
For centuries Geneva has been the safe asylum for 
men from other lands who have revolted against the 
tyranny of Church or Government, and there, in 
these days, is to be found an interesting little soci- 
ety of Russian anarchists, and all manner of malcon- 
tents and visionaries, who hatch their various plots, 
and when the demand arises manufacture the fa- 
vourite weapon of anarchy, the bomb. It was in this 
fair city, in the year 1891, that a group of Turkish 



refugees and exiles formed themselves into the asso- 
ciation that afterwards developed into the "Ottoman 
Committee of Union and Progress." 

The time had indeed arrived for patriotic Turks 
to bestir themselves and come to the rescue of their 
country; for it was about this date that the most 
critical period of her history opened, and that various 
happenings in her European and Asiatic provinces 
threatened the disruption of the Empire. In 1890 
the persecuted Armenians commenced the agitation 
which later on the Sultan put down with wholesale 
massacres. In the early nineties, too, the Bulga- 
rians in Macedonia initiated the conspiracy which, 
after various small risings, culminated in the rebel- 
lion of 1903; and here, as in Armenia, the Turkish 
irregulars suppressed insurrection with slaughter and 
rapine. Indignation was aroused in Europe, espe- 
cially in England, and in 1903 the British Government 
urged the other Powers to join her in compelling the 
Porte to accept a scheme of reform under European 
supervision that should secure fair government and 
the security of Turkey's Christian subjects. But the 
jealousy of the Powers stood in the way of any genu- 
ine co-operation, while the policy of Turkey's two 
most powerful neighbours was to destroy the Otto- 
man Empire and not to reform it; so the British 
scheme was rejected; the measures that were taken by 
the Powers proved wholly inadequate ; the anarchy in 
Macedonia ever grew worse; and it became evident 
that sooner or later foreign intervention of an effec- 
tive and forcible character would be necessitated. 



Now the one essential part of the Young Turk 
programme is the preservation of the integrity of the 
Ottoman Empire. Opportunists in the rest of their 
policy, the Young Turks are determined that no 
more Ottoman territory shall be placed under foreign 
domination. They feel that foreign interference in 
Turkey's internal affairs means loss of national inde- 
pendence and the ultimate expulsion of the Turks 
from the European side of the Bosphorus. They 
entertain the strongest objection to the attempted 
settlement of the racial disputes in Macedonia by 
foreign Powers, and the chief article of their faith is 
that, for Turkey to hold her own in the world, her 
reforms must come from within and not from without. 
Therefore at this juncture, knowing that they had 
the educated classes in Turkey in sympathy with 
them, and that oppression had made the masses dis- 
contented, these Turkish patriots in Geneva decided 
to create an organisation whose object it would be 
to bring pressure to bear upon the Turkish Govern- 
ment, and move the Sultan to sanction the much- 
needed reforms. At this early stage they did not 
feel sufficiently strong to plan the deposition of the 
monarch should he prove obdurate, but they resolved 
so to arrange matters in Constantinople as to make 
it impossible, in the case of the death of that clever 
and masterly monarch, for his successor to rule on 
the same despotic lines. 

The head-quarters of the organisation was moved 
from Geneva to Paris, and it had its branches in 
London and other capitals. Little heed was paid to 



the Young Turks by the peoples in whose midst 
they lived, and many regarded them as harmless 
dreamers. But the Sultan himself knew better; his 
Embassy in Paris was instructed to watch the 
organisation closely, and spies were sent from Con- 
stantinople whose business it was to report directly 
to the Palace all they could discover concerning the 
members. In Turkey itself active methods of sup- 
pression were taken, and the system of espionage 
became ever more unbearable, with the result that 
the enemies of the regime increased in number, and 
Turkey's best men fled the country to swell the 
band of conspirators in Paris. 

Now that men can talk quite freely in Turkey, 
returning exiles tell strange and romantic tales of 
their adventures in those dark days. For a Turkish 
subject to leave Turkey without the permission of 
the inquisitorial Government was then a treason- 
able offence involving outlawry and the confiscation 
of property. As every outgoing steamer was closely 
watched by the police, it was no easy matter to 
escape from Constantinople by sea, and to do so by 
land was still more difficult. On several occasions 
distinguished Turks were assisted in their flight by 
their English friends. For example, with the con- 
nivance of one of our Consuls, a fugitive Pasha was 
concealed in the Consulate, was disguised in a suit 
of slops such as sailormen wear, and when the 
opportunity arrived quietly walked away from the 
carefully watched Consulate in the company of an 
English merchant captain, satisfied the questioning 



police spies on the quay, and boarded the British 
vessel that was to carry him to safety; for he had 
been entered on the ship's books as cook, and 
was provided with the necessary consular document 
that testified to his having signed articles in that 
capacity. Oftentimes, too, some British steamer 
passing down the Bosphorus would stop her engines 
and, under cover of the darkness, send off the friendly 
boat that, by pre-arrangement, would take a party 
of fugitive Turks from a lonely beach, and so save 
them from the oubliette or the strangler's cord. 

The Palace employed terrorism in Turkey and 
corruption in Paris in its attempt to destroy the 
Young Turk association. By offers of rewards and 
high positions, some of the members were persuaded 
to desert the cause and to return to Turkey. Some 
were found base enough to serve as spies. Thus, 
one, whose name it is perhaps better not to mention, 
contrived to work himself into a prominent posi- 
tion on the Paris Committee, learnt its secrets, and 
returned to Constantinople to betray them to the 
Sultan. But the organisation ever grew stronger 
under persecution, and patriotic Turks supplied the 
funds which enabled it to carry on its propaganda. 
The Paris Committee published a paper and numer- 
ous tracts, which exposed the iniquities of the 
Hamidian regime and called for the deposition of 
the Sultan, and these were smuggled into Turkey 
and were widely distributed and read, despite the 
vigilance of the ever-increasing army of spies. The 
agents of the Committee in Constantinople used to 




placard the city under cover of the night with revo- 
lutionary appeals, and seditious placards threaten- 
ing the life of the Sultan were sometimes placed 
upon the walls of the Palace itself. Abdul Hamid, 
living in perpetual fear, redoubled his precautions. 

In 1901 the Sultan, having been informed by his 
ambassador in Paris that the Paris Committee was 
preparing a great Young Turkey demonstration in 
Constantinople itself, was so anxious to intercept the 
correspondence that was passing beween Paris and 
the members of the Young Turkey party in his cap- 
ital that he violated his international agreements 
by seizing and breaking open the European mail- 
bags that were addressed to the various foreign post- 
offices in Constantinople, and thereby provoked the 
Powers to threaten a joint naval demonstration, 
which was only warded off by a humble apology 
and further solemn promises on Abdul Hamid's 

In Paris the "Ottoman Committee of Union and 
Progress," to give the association the now world- 
famous name which it assumed a few years ago, was 
ably directed by Ahmed Riza Bey, who, having 
worked with devotion for the cause through eighteen 
years of exile, returned to Turkey after the procla- 
mation of the Constitution last year, and is now 
the President, or Speaker, of the Turkish Chamber 
of Deputies. The Committee was also strengthened 
during the last few years of the Hamidian regime by 
the admission to it of several distinguished Turks of 
high rank, who fled from Constantinople to Paris so 



as to be able to assist the national movement from 
that safe vantage-ground. Among these fugitives 
was the Sultan's relative, Prince Sabah-ed-din, who 
threw himself heart and soul into the revolutionary 
movement, and advocated a policy more advanced 
and radical than that favoured by the large major- 
ity of the Young Turks, whose Liberalism is full- 
blooded Toryism when compared to what passes for 
Liberalism in England in these latter days. Prince 
Sabah-ed-din is an advanced home ruler, and he is 
the virtual leader of the "Liberal Union" party, 
which is working for a degree of centralisation that 
is regarded as dangerous by most Mussulmans, but 
is naturally pleasing to the Greeks. 

But though these Turkish gentlemen, with their 
clever conversation and their charming manners, 
were welcomed in Paris salons and London drawing- 
rooms, few people in Europe realised that the Young 
Turkey movement had the remotest chance of 
attaining its ends; for it was a silent movement, 
and while the Greeks, Bulgarians, and Armenians 
voiced their grievances with a persistence that gained 
for them a wide hearing and much sympathy, the 
patriotic Turks, unwilling to invoke the help of 
foreigners, took no steps to make their aspirations 
known in Europe. Ahmed Riza did, indeed, come 
over to London in 1904, and, for the first time in 
his life, addressed a meeting of Englishmen, but it 
was not to crave sympathy for the Mussulman Turks 
whom he represented, but to express the sentiments 
of his party regarding foreign intervention in Tur- 



key, whether it were that of a Government or of the 
English humanitarian committees. In the course of 
his speech Ahmed Bey, while admitting the justice 
of a revolt against despotism, condemned the Euro- 
pean friends of Armenia and Macedonia for wrong- 
fully and artificially inciting a rising, and so playing 
the part of the Pan-Slavist agents, and he practi- 
cally put it that by fomenting insurrection among 
the Christian populations in Turkey they were more 
or less responsible for the massacres which followed. 
The meeting, to quote from the official report, "be- 
came extremely agitated, and many interruptions 
were addressed to the speaker." The speakers who 
followed had some unkind things to say concern- 
ing Ahmed Riza and the Young Turks. Here is a 
quotation from the speech of an influential humani- 
tarian who was present: "I am not sorry that the 
gentleman has spoken, because it shows us how im- 
possible it is to expect any reforms in Turkey from 
the Young Turkish party. They are only thinking 
of themselves. The liberties of the Christians would 
be just as unsafe under a Sultan with the sentiments 
of the gentleman who has just sat down, as under 
the present Sultan." 

And yet, even at that time, Ahmed Riza and his 
Mussulman associates were planning a scheme which 
was intended to bring liberty, justice, and security 
to the oppressed Christian subjects of the Porte, and 
was, moreover, destined to prove successful where 
all the diplomacy of the Powers and the too often 
misdirected efforts of the humanitarians in Europe 



had signally failed. For the Young Turks, like their 
great forerunner, Midhat Pasha, realised that Tur- 
key could only be saved from disintegration by 
placing all her races and creeds on an equality, by 
giving the same rights to all. They therefore set 
themselves to bring about a co-operation of the 
various elements of the Turkish population, and to 
make common cause with the Armenian, Bulgarian, 
and other revolutionary non-Mussulman committees 
in Paris. 

It appeared, to those who heard of it, as being 
the most chimerical of schemes; for the Young 
Turks and their proposed allies had but one aspira- 
tion in common — the overthrow of the Despotism. 
Their ideals seemed indeed to be irreconcilable. The 
Young Turks above all things desired the mainte- 
nance of the integrity of the Ottoman Empire and a 
union of her peoples that would make the Empire 
strong. On the other hand, the non-Mussulman 
revolutionaries cared nothing for the integrity of the 
Empire. For the most part they desired not to 
reform Turkey, but to break her up. Neither did 
they seek union among themselves; for the different 
Christian races hated each other, and cherished 
mutually incompatible ambitions. Thus, Bulgari- 
ans, Greeks, and Serbs in Macedonia dreamt of the 
formation of autonomous States, or of annexations 
to Bulgaria, Greece, and Servia, respectively. There 
was to be found, too, in some of the non-Mussulman 
committees/ a considerable leavening of anarchical 
and socialistic ideas with which the conservative 



Turkish reformers could have no sympathy. Out 
of elements so incongruous, and in many respects 
antagonistic, it would seem impossible to effect any 
sort of co-operation. 

But the Young Turks were terribly in earnest, 
and were patient and persuasive ; they compelled the 
leaders of the non-Mussulman committees to listen 
to their arguments, and they sent delegates to their 
meetings; but it was, of course, not for a long time 
that they could come to an understanding with men 
who found it difficult to believe that any form of 
Turkish rule could deal fairly with Christians and 
Jews. At last, wonderful to say, the Young Turks 
in Paris, being honest patriots, succeeded in convin- 
cing the other groups of their sincerity when they 
put forward the full equality in the eyes of the law 
of all races and creeds in Turkey as an essential por- 
tion of their programme. 

The Armenian committees were the first to fall in 
line with the Young Turkey movement, and the 
union between them that was arranged in Paris, in 
1903, has been faithfully observed by both parties. 
It will be remembered how the two races fraternised 
after the declaration of the Constitution, how the 
world was amazed by the spectacle of Armenian 
and Moslem clergymen walking arm in arm in pro- 
cessions, and how loyally the Turks and Armenians 
worked together during the Parliamentary elections. 
It was, indeed, a natural alliance; there has never 
been real enmity between the two races until the 
present Sultan's reign. The Armenian massacres 



were not the work of Turks but of savage Kurds, 
instigated by the Palace Camarilla. "Few incidents 
in history are more touching," writes a Turkish sub- 
ject in the Nineteenth Century, "than the visit paid 
by a large assembly of Turks (in August last) to 
the Armenian cemetery in Constantinople, in order 
to deposit floral tributes on the graves of the victims 
of the massacre of 1894, and to have prayers recited, 
by a priest of their own persuasion, over the butch- 
ered dead." 

Moreover, there were few political difficulties in 
the way of an understanding between the Young 
Turks and the Armenian revolutionaries. The 
problem was not like that of the Greeks and Slavs 
in Macedonia, who had on the frontier independent 
nations of people of their own kin on whom to lean 
and to whom to look for protection and perchance 
annexation. For Armenia is now but a geographi- 
cal expression, and ancient Armenia has been par- 
titioned between Turkey, Russia, and Persia. The 
Armenians in Turkish Armenia are vastly outnum- 
bered by the Moslem population; and the creation 
of an independent Armenian principality, desired 
by a section of the revolutionists, was obviously an 
impracticable scheme. The more sensible Arme- 
nians realised that the only alternative for the rule 
of Turkey was that of Russia, and the experience of 
their brethren across the border had proved to them 
that, of the two, the rule of Turkey was to be pre- 
ferred; for under it they enjoyed a measure of racial 
autonomy and various privileges — much restricted, 



it is true, under Abdul Hamid's despotism — which 
the Russian Government, ever bent on the Russian- 
isation of the nationalities subject to it, would cer- 
tainly have denied to them. j 

It was, therefore, the aim of the moderates among 
the Armenian malcontents, while remaining under 
Ottoman rule, to secure the civil liberties and insti- 
tutions calculated to guarantee their personal safety, 
the security of their property, and the honour of their 
wives and daughters. Now the Young Turk pro- 
gramme promised them these things and more; so, 
realising that this great Mussulman movement was 
likely to meet with success, they decided to throw in 
their lot with Ahmed Riza and his brother revolu- 

But this union could not be accomplished until the 
Armenians had consented to abandon the methods 
of their propaganda. They had for years been 
appealing to the European Powers, through their 
Committees, to compel the Sultan to grant good 
government to his Christian subjects in Armenia 
in accordance with the solemn pledges which he 
had given to the signatories of the Treaty of Berlin. 
But the Young Turks insisted that there must be no 
appealing to foreign Powers for assistance, that the 
Armenians henceforth would have to rely upon the 
support of their Mussulman fellow-subjects alone, 
that they must now cease from such agitation as 
might invite further massacres, and await the out- 
break of the revolution that was to deliver all the 
races that were oppressed by the Despotism. 

81 ' 


It may have been noticed that from the date of 
this understanding, in 1903, one heard very little 
about trouble in Armenia; the violence of the Arme- 
nian propaganda was restrained by the leaders so 
that the Young Turk movement might not be em- 
barrassed, and the attention of Europe was now 
turned to the state of anarchy in Macedonia. The 
Young Turks always worked in secret, but when 
policy demanded it they sometimes came out into 
the open. Thus it was that Ahmed Riza went to 
London in 1904, shortly after the union between his 
party and the Armenian Committees, and, in the 
speech from which I have quoted, protested at a 
public meeting against the interference of English 
humanitarians in the affairs of Armenia. He also 
seems to have influenced those who governed the 
policy of the Anglo-Armenian Association and to 
have won their confidence in his judgment, for it 
was at about this time that the active propaganda 
of this organisation suddenly came to a stop. 

But Ahmed Riza and his associates, though they 
were working diligently to prepare the ground for the 
coming revolution by sending emissaries to inocu- 
late the young army officers in Turkey with their 
views, and the Moslem clergy with interpretations 
of the Koran that breathed the spirit of reform and 
tolerance, kept their doings secret even from their 
friends. The revolution, so carefully planned, came 
as a complete surprise even to those Englishmen 
who had come in touch with the Turkish reformers 
in Paris and sympathised with the aspirations of 



those intensely patriotic men who shunned politics, 
declined interviews with the press, and lived most 
frugal lives, while they devoted themselves with 
single-minded zeal to the cause. I may mention 
that since 1904 the officials of the Eastern Ques- 
tions Association (which, I believe, has always held 
the view that a strong and independent Turkey is an 
essential factor in the polity of nations) have been 
on friendly terms with Ahmed Riza Bey, visited him 
in Paris, become strong supporters of the Young 
Turk party, and have vigorously denounced the 
crooked policy of Russia and Austria in Macedonia. 

The Young Turks thus came to an understanding 
with the Armenians, and later on it was arranged 
between them that when the time was ripe, and the 
Committtee gave the word for the Mussulman revolt 
in Turkey, the Armenians should also rise; for it was 
realised that the Sultan would yield to nothing but 
force, and that only by means of an armed rebellion, 
and that possibly a very bloody one, could the liber- 
ators of Turkey effect their end. 

And now the Young Turks set themselves to win 
over to their cause the other non-Mussulman revolu- 
tionary Committees. With the Jews, as with the 
Armenians, they had relatively little difficulty, for 
the Jews were a people without a land, and therefore 
could entertain no schemes of national independence; 
their hope and interests lay in the good government 
of the Ottoman Empire. But with the Bulgarians, 
Greeks, and Serbs of Macedonia, whose very last 
idea it was to become patriotic Ottomans, the Young 



Turks found the work of persuasion attended with 
almost insuperable difficulties. 

To these revolutionaries other forms of argument 
had to be applied. It was pointed out to them that, 
unassisted from outside, they could not hope to 
conquer their independence with the sword from the 
armies of the Sultan; that the mutually jealous 
Great Powers, if they did intervene in Macedonia, 
were not in the least likely to favour the political 
aspirations of the Christian populations; that to 
appeal to foreign intervention was a very dangerous 
thing; and that the annexation of the greater part of 
Macedonia to Austria-Hungary — in detestation of 
which Power all these Balkan races are united — 
might be the result of the state of anarchy in that 
region for which the revolutionary bands were 
responsible; in short, that it would be to the advan- 
tage of the Macedonian Christians to abandon their 
ideas of separation from the Ottoman Empire and to 
join cause with the Young Turks, whose aim it was 
to hold the Empire together and to give equal rights 
to all its peoples. 

Wonderful to say, the Macedonian Committees in 
Paris at last allowed themselves to be persuaded, 
and threw in their lot with the Young Turks, half- 
heartedly, perhaps, at first, and with mental reserva- 
tions. They realised that they could hope for little 
help from Europe, and were willing to work with 
the Young Turks in upsetting the Hamidian regime. 
After a successful revolution something might turn 
up that would enable them to gain the national inde- 



pendence that they still had at heart; and even if 
that hope was destroyed, they would be able, having 
supported the Young Turks, to claim the equal 
rights which these had promised to them. But the 
conflict of interests that severed the various groups, 
and the anarchical principles that some of the revo- 
lutionary leaders professed, made the reconciliation 
of all these discordant elements a matter of great 
difficulty. The Congress held in Paris, in 1902, had 
for its chief result the accentuation of schism; it was 
not till 1907 that the various Committees were able 
at last to arrange a programme that was acceptable 
to all; and by that time the Young Turks had 
established their secret society in Macedonia and 
had gained the allegiance of a considerable portion 
of that formidable Turkish army without whose 
cooperation, as the Christians in Macedonia knew 
well, no revolution had a chance of success. 

So in December, 1907, a Congress of the Turkish 
revolutionaries met in Paris, at which were repre- 
sented the Ottoman Committee of Union and 
Progress, the Armenian, Bulgarian, Jewish, Arab, 
Albanian, and other Committees; and the delegates 
all agreed to accept the following principles: The 
deposition of the Sultan Abdul Hamid. The main- 
tenance of the integrity of the Ottoman Empire. 
Absolute equality in the eyes of the law of the 
various races and religions. The establishment of 
Parliamentary institutions on the lines of Midhat 
Pasha's Constitution. 

The "Ottoman Committee of Union and Prog- 



ress," as representing the dominant race and the 
fighting forces of the revolution, naturally now took 
the lead, and its members, of whom but a few 
were non-Mussulmans, became the organisers of the 
revolt and mandatories of the other Committees. 
It may be pointed out here that the resolutions of 
the Congress had no effect in pacifying Macedo- 
nia, where, indeed, the condition of affairs was ever 
becoming worse; for Greece and Bulgaria, still look- 
ing forward to the disruption of Turkey, were pour- 
ing into Macedonia their armed bands to "peg out 
claims" in the Greek and Bulgarian interest; and 
throughout all that region violence, murder, and 
rapine prevailed. Of no more effect were the efforts 
of the Great Powers, which, in 1907, issued a cate- 
gorical declaration that no Macedonian race would 
be permitted to draw any territorial advantage from 
the action of its bands. 




IN 1906 the Ottoman Committee of Union and 
Progress, considering that the time had come 
to transfer their organisation to the soil of 
Turkey itself, and there make the final preparations 
for their attack on the Despotism, selected Macedo- 
nia as the scene of their initial operations. 

There were good reasons for choosing this portion 
of Turkey as their strategic base. In the first place, 
it was here that the forces were chiefly at work which 
were threatening the speedy dissolution of the Otto- 
man Empire, and the Young Turks realised that 
unless they quickly came to the rescue it would be 
too late, and Macedonia would be lost. The terri- 
ble condition of the country, overrun as it was by 
murderous bands of political brigands supported by 
Turkey's enemies, had already drawn an interfer- 
ence in the internal affairs of Macedonia on the part 
of the Great Powers that was deeply humiliating to 
every patriotic Turk. The Powers had compelled 
the Sultan, by threat of force, to consent to the super- 
vision of the civil administration of Macedonia by 
an international financial commission, and to the 
formation of an international gendarmerie trained 



and commanded by foreign officers — of whom, by 
the way, the English officers have undoubtedly 
been the most successful, as they are more in sym- 
pathy than the others with the nature of the Turkish 
soldier. But the patriotic Turks, though they often 
entertained personal affection for the European offi- 
cers who were thus thrust upon them, loathed this 
foreign interference, and nourished a bitter resent- 
ment against the Hamidian regime, whose inept rule 
had brought this indignity upon Turkey and made 
the world regard the Ottomans as a fallen people no 
longer capable of managing their own affairs. 

There was one feature of this foreign intervention 
which was especially disagreeable and alarming to 
the Young Turks. The reforms proposed by Eng- 
land, a disinterested country, had been rejected by 
the Powers, and a mandate had been given to Russia 
and Austria — regarded by the Turks as their most 
treacherous enemies — to introduce their own pro- 
gramme of reform (the Murzteg programme) into 
Macedonia. The Turks maintained, as, too, did 
independent observers, that these two Powers of a 
purpose made this programme a wholly ineffective 
one, and that their representatives were so working 
as to foment disorder and strife among the Chris- 
tian populations in order to forward the schemes for 
the dismemberment of European Turkey. 

The signs of this foreign intervention everywhere 
around them served as object lessons to the people 
in Macedonia, whether educated men or peasants, 
civilians or soldiers, and they realised that, unless 



the methods of Turkish government improved, the 
foreign hold on the country would be ever tightened 
until its independence was destroyed. Thus there 
spread throughout Macedonia a profound discontent 
with the existing order of things, that prepared the 
ground for the great conspiracy. 

To win over the Army to their side was of course 
the first object of the Young Turks, and therefore 
Macedonia was well chosen as the field of the early 
operations, inasmuch as the troops there were in a 
more disaffected condition than those in any other 
part of the Empire, and were ripe for revolt. For 
years these troops — ill clad, ill fed, and rarely paid 
— had been engaged in a desultory guerilla war 
against the bands of the Christian insurgents — a 
form of police work that brought no glory and was 
uncongenial to soldiers, while, by scattering them over 
the country in small sections, it did away with the 
cohesion and esprit de corps essential to an army. 
Their discontent was also aroused by seeing by the 
side of them their brothers of the smart international 
gendarmerie, men with military pride and bearing, 
well disciplined and (for the Powers saw to this) well 
clothed and fed, and regularly paid. It hurt the 
self-respect of both officers and men in the regular 
army to contrast the condition of these men with 
that of their ragged selves, for which, as they well 
knew, the corrupt administration of the Palace gang 
was to blame. 

Of the intolerable military spy system and the 
other causes of disaffection among the officers of the 



Ottoman forces I have already spoken. The young 
officers of the Macedonia army, men of education 
and open-minded, who had passed through the mili- 
tary academies and had received instruction from 
foreign teachers, had exceptional opportunities in 
Macedonia for observing how an infamous rule was 
hurrying their country to its ruin, and therefore their 
sympathies naturally inclined towards the Young 
Turkey movement. Moreover, special grievances 
of their own aggravated their detestation of the 
Hamidian regime; the spy system was more search- 
ing and oppressive then elsewhere in this suspected 
portion of the Ottoman army, and it had become 
the habit of the Palace — galling to those who suf- 
fered under it — to send from the capital sleek 
Court favourites, with nothing of the soldier in 
them, to assume commands over the heads of fine 
officers who had taken a distinguished part in 
Turkey's wars, and had been fighting the insurgent 
bands for years in the Macedonian mountains, but 
had never obtained the promotion that was their due. 

Moreover, it favoured the plan of the revolution- 
aries that this vantage ground of Macedonia was at 
a safe distance from the capital — from the Palace 
with its myriad eyes and its regiments of well-fed, 
well-equipped, well-paid troops who could be counted 
upon to remain loyal to the despotism. 

So far as the Mussulman population and the army 
were concerned, Macedonia was therefore ripe for 
rebellion, and the Christian peasantry, weary of the 
slaughter and devastation which the bands for years 



had been inflicting on the wretched country, were 
ready to welcome any new order of things that 
promised to bring peace and security. 

To understand the operations of the secret society 
that organised the insurrection in Macedonia, it is 
necessary to bear in mind the condition of the coun- 
try at that time. The Christian peasantry in Mace- 
donia had suffered terribly from the pitiless methods 
employed by the Turks in suppressing any signs of 
insurrection, but during the latter years of the 
Hamidian regime they had to suffer even worse 
things, in consequence of the cruel internecine war 
which they waged among themselves. The various 
races that make up the population of Macedonia had 
for long been carrying on their several national 
propaganda. The three independent States on Mace- 
donia's borders, Greece, Bulgaria, and Servia, were 
working with the Greeks, Bulgarians, and Serbs under 
Turkish rule, with a view to territorial expansion in 
this region, so soon as the dissolution of the Turkish 
Empire, to which they looked forward with confi- 
dence, should come to pass. But in Macedonia there 
are no extensive districts exclusively inhabited by 
Greeks, Bulgarians, or Serbs. The different races are 
intermingled, and it is not unusual to find Mussul- 
man Turks and Christians of each of three races liv- 
ing side by side in the same village. Consequently, 
as each of the three States above mentioned aspired 
to the reversion of all territory occupied by people of 
its own race, there was nearly everywhere an over- 
lapping of claims; and it became the policy of each 



State to gain influence in a coveted district and there 
secure the numerical superiority of people of its own 
race, so as to be able to establish a strong title to 
possession when the Powers should undertake the 
dismemberment of Turkey. 

This racial rivalry was embittered by religious 
fanaticism. Formerly the Greek Orthodox Church 
exercised an exclusive influence over the Bulgarian 
as well as Greek population of Macedonia, and all 
recognised the Patriarch as their spiritual head. 
The Bulgarians resented the tyrannical ecclesiastical 
ascendency of the Greeks, and a schism arose which 
was deliberately widened by the Sultan Abd-ul-Aziz, 
who conceded to the Bulgarians the right to separate 
from the Greek Church and appoint an Exarch of 
their own. The Patriarch excommunicated the first 
Exarch and all who gave their allegiance to him, and 
since then there has been bitter hatred between the 
Orthodox and the schismatics. Of the Bulgarians 
in Macedonia, some have remained faithful to the 
Orthodox Church, while the majority acknowledge 
the spiritual headship of the Exarch. Now in Turkey 
populations are reckoned according to creed and not 
race, and in the census returns a Bulgarian who was 
a member of the Orthodox Greek Church would 
appear as a Greek. Therefore, for political, as well 
as religious, reasons the Greeks and Bulgarians strove 
hard to snatch from each other the control of the 
schools and churches in any district where there was 
a Bulgarian population, and employed violence and 
every form of persecution to secure converts. 



In Greece, Bulgaria, and Servia, armed bands were 
equipped and sent into Macedonia to forward the 
rival interests of these land-lustful States. Bulga- 
rian bands burnt Greek villages and Greek bands 
those of the Bulgarians. The seizure of each other's 
churches and ecclesiastical property, and the murder 
of priests, became features of the propaganda. In 
the zeal to bring about the preponderance of this or 
that race the armed ruffians murdered women and 
children, and all the barbarities which aroused the 
indignation of Europe when Turkish irregulars were 
the guilty, were now committed against each other 
by the Christian proteges of our humanitarians. With 
fire and sword the several propaganda were spread 
through the country. The Greeks boycotted the 
Bulgarians in the towns, and by various methods 
of persecution endeavoured to drive Bulgarians 
from coveted districts on the sea-coast. The Greek 
bishops and clergy worked with fanatical activity; 
not only did they forbid their co-religionists to give 
employment to Bulgarians, but they were largely 
responsible for the atrocities committed by the Greek 
bands, and went so far as to draw up proscription 
lists of Bulgarian schismatics who had to be assas- 
sinated; but the Bulgarians often had their revenge, 
as when, about a year ago, they dragged a Greek 
clergyman out of his church and burnt him alive. 

Out of the many stories which one could tell, here 
is one which will serve as an example of the methods 
of the bands. On November 26, 1907, a Greek 
band of over sixty men surrounded the village of 



Zelenitchi, while a party broke into the house of 
the Bulgarian, Stoyan Gateff, where a marriage 
was being celebrated, killed thirteen men, women, 
and children, and wounded others. 

To add to all this orgie of bloodshed, robbery, 
and violence, came the formation of bands of Mus- 
sulman Turks, endowed with the bravery of their 
race, who, while protecting the Turkish peasantry 
against the Christians, pillaged and burnt the vil- 
lages of the latter, and did their share of the killing; 
while the bodies of half -famished, unpaid Turkish 
troops who were sent to search for concealed arms 
over the countryside naturally lived on the wretched 
Christian peasants, and helped themselves to all 
they needed. 

Between the Greeks and Bulgarians there was 
never a truce save in winter, when the snow lay 
deep upon the Balkans, but sometimes the Serb 
would join the Greek bands in their attacks on the 
Bulgarians. Thus organised brigandage terrorised 
the countryside, and the bands, when they ran short 
of money or supplies, did not hesitate to rob even 
the people of their own kin, whose cause they 
were espousing, levying blackmail upon them, and 
burning their villages if demands were not satisfied. 
It is not to be wondered at that a large propor- 
tion of the Christian population found the succour 
of their ferocious brethren somewhat irksome, and 
were ready to welcome the pacific programme of 
the Young Turks. It will be remembered that when 
Bulgaria declared her independence last year the 



Bulgarian peasants in Macedonia held meetings at 
which they denounced the Principality and sent a 
memorial to Prince Ferdinand to warn him that 
they would hold him responsible for whatever evil 
might now befall them, as the result of his action. 

Of all these Christian propagandists the Bulgarians 
aroused most sympathy in Europe; for they are a 
brave and straightforward people. They had good 
reason to hate the Greeks, who had always perse- 
cuted them. When, in 1903, the Bulgarian exarchists 
in Macedonia, with their hundreds of small armed 
bands, carried on a gallant but hopeless guerilla war 
against the Turkish regular troops, the Greek Mace- 
donians remained neutral, but worked against their 
fellow-Christians after a fashion characteristically 
Hellenic; they assisted the Turks by betraying and 
denouncing to them the Bulgarian rebels; for in their 
zeal to forward their ultimate political designs they 
were not ill pleased to witness the extermination by 
the Turks of their fellow-Christians who repudiated 
the Patriarch and refused to become Hellenised. It 
was not until 1904 that Greek bands, led by officers 
of the Greek regular army, crossed the frontier into 
Macedonia to wage war not only against the propa- 
ganda of the Bulgarian exarchists, but also that 
of the Wallach inhabitants, who desired to throw 
off the tyrannical supremacy of the Greek Patriarch 
and have an Exarch of their own, as the Bulgarians 
had, with their own schools and churches in which 
their national language could be used. The Sultan, 
who was ever playing one Christian sect off against 



another, and made no real effort to stop the fratri- 
cidal strife that served his designs, now gave his 
encouragement to the Wallach propaganda, for this 
did not threaten the integrity of his Empire as did 
the propaganda of the Greeks and Serbs, there being 
no question of annexation of any Wallach districts 
of Macedonia to the distant kingdom of the Wal- 
lachs' kin, Roumania. 

The Bulgarians proved themselves the braver men 
in this racial struggle; but the Greek bands were the 
strongest in numbers and were also the best equipped, 
for they were always kept well supplied with am- 
munition! and food by the rich merchants in Athens. 
The Greek bands chiefly distinguished themselves 
by attacking unprotected villages and slaughtering 
unarmed peasants; half-a-dozen brave Turkish gen- 
darmes have on occasion sufficed to rout the largest 
of these bands. I need not say that the unfortunate 
Turkish peasants, being regarded as enemies by all 
parties, suffered severely at the hands of the propa- 

The condition of the country ever got worse. In 
1907 there were one hundred and thirty -three con- 
flicts between Turkish troops and Greek and Bul- 
garian bands, and a large but unrecorded number 
of fights between rival bands: Greek and Wallach; 
Greek and Bulgarian; Bulgarian and Serb; and Alba- 
nian and Serb. The bands used to come down to 
the plains and carry off the crops outside Salonica 
itself. The Greek Committee sent a manifesto to 
the villages round Salonica ordering the villagers, 



under pain of death, to become converts to Ortho- 
doxy and to accept the Patriarch, and have them- 
selves inscribed as Greeks upon the census papers. 
Shortly before the Sultan's proclamation of the Con- 
stitution the artillery of the Salonica garrison had to 
shell the reed-covered swamps in the vicinity of the 
city to drive out the bands that had found shelter 

It was in the city of Salonica that the Ottoman 
Committee of Union and Progress decided to estab- 
lish the headquarters of the secret society that was 
to prepare the outbreak of rebellion in Macedonia, 
a city which, as being the cradle of their liberties, 
has already come to be regarded as a sort of holy 
place by patriotic Turks. It is a city worthy to be 
the scene of the initiation of one of the world's great 
movements. The splendid seaport, on the acquisi- 
tion of which Austria had set her heart, impresses 
every visitor with a sense of a peculiar nobility with 
which it is invested by its aspect, situation, and 
history. Stately and beautiful is the approach to 
it from the sea as one sails up the fifty-mile broad 
Gulf of Salonica; on the right the undulating land 
of Cassandra, with grassy, tree-studded shores, and 
windmills on the skyline testifying to the productive- 
ness of the fields beyond; on the left the mountain 
ranges of Thessaly; with peaks whose names are 
known to every school-boy — Pelion to the south, 
then Ossa, and, near the head of the Gulf, a noble 
mountain mass towering over the lesser heights, 
with snowy summits ten thousand feet above the 



sea, Mount Olympus itself, the abode of the old 

From the busy quay of Salonica one looks across 
the blue water at the snows of Olympus and a wonder- 
ful far panorama of hills and dales of classic Greece; 
and Salonica itself is a fair city to look upon from 
the sea, with its gleaming white houses and minarets, 
and dark groves of cypress sloping up to the ancient 
castle and fortifications. I need not recall here the 
great part which Thessalonica played in the old days 
when Persians, Athenians, Macedonians, Romans, 
Normans of Sicily, and Saracens in succession con- 
quered and held the famous port, the principal city 
between Rome and the East; its vicissitudes and 
many bloody sieges. Old Thessalonica, with its 
Greek, Roman, and Byzantine ruins, relics of "sad, 
half-forgotten things and battles long ago," the 
thronged city where St. Paul preached and worked 
with his hands among the Macedonian artisans, as 
the modern Salonica has once again come to the fore- 
front in the shaping of the world's history, and 
its citizens walk proudly because here dawned the 
liberty of the Ottomans, with its inspiring hopes. 
There is something about the atmosphere of Salo- 
nica which makes it seem a fitting place to be the 
birthplace of a great movement. One feels freer on 
its broad quay and in its clean, well-paved streets 
than in the narrow, ever muddy lanes which im- 
prison one in Constantinople. The climate for the 
greater part of the year is most exhilarating, and 
the inhabitants of this white city, "ever delicately 



walking through most pellucid air," seem more 
vivacious and brisk, and are said to be more 
enlightened, more industrious, and shrewder than 
those of the capital. 

Even under the tyranny and corruption of the 
old regime things were fairly well ordered in Salonica, 
and the municipal authorities did some good work, 
as the appearance of the streets shows, though they 
did appropriate, in the shape of irregular salaries, 
one-half of the rates. Salonica, too, enjoyed a meas- 
ure of liberty, even in those dark days, and men 
could do here many things which would have ensured 
their prompt punishment in Constantinople. For 
example, though meetings of any description were 
banned by the Palace, and a man could not invite 
two or three friends to dine with him in his house 
without permission, and though to be found guilty 
of being a Freemason was to incur the death penalty, 
Freemasonry (French, Grand Orient, Spanish, and 
Italian) flourished in Salonica; there were five Ma- 
sonic Lodges in the town throughout the long years 
of despotism, though of course the Lodges had no 
fixed habitations, and the Masons used to meet in 
whatever house or perhaps lonely spot in the open 
country was at any time deemed to be the safest 

In Salonica, with its teeming population of Turks, 
Greeks, Jews, Albanians, Bulgarians, and Levan- 
tines of many mixed races, speaking divers tongues, 
it is easy for men to assume disguises and difficult 
for spies to trace conspiracies. In no city does one 



come across a greater variety of race and picturesque 
costume than in these busy bazaars and streets — 
the Jews (who here number fifty thousand) who look 
as if they had stepped straight out of the Venice 
of Shakespeare's time, the men in gabardines, the 
women in robes such as were worn by the ancestors 
of these people when they were driven out of Spain 
by Ferdinand and Isabella, still speaking among 
themselves a strange Spanish dialect — swaggering 
Albanians in their picturesque becoming national 
costume of which Byron sang — burly Bulgarian 
peasants — priests of all denominations, including 
Russian monks of neighbouring Mount Athos, emis- 
saries from that holy promontory on which for one 
thousand years no woman or even animal of the 
female sex has been allowed to set foot, where 
monks in their thousands dwell in ascetic retirement 
in monasteries perched like the lamaseries of Tibet 
among the mountains, while in the wildest and most 
inaccessible spots anchorites have their hermitages 
and live in complete solitude after the manner of 
their predecessor, St. Anthony. 

The fact that it was possible in this crowded city 
to escape observation and to organise secret societies 
made Salonica the natural centre of the Young Turk 
movement in Macedonia. Secret political organisa- 
tion already existed there, and the Internal Organi- 
sations of the Bulgarian revolutionary party had 
had its head-quarters there since about 1895. 




THUS, in the summer of 190G, the Young Turk 
movement crystallised into a secret society in 
Salonica, so well organised that it effected its 
purpose despite the universal espionage, its work, of 
course, being facilitated by the fact that in every part 
of the Empire the system of administration had be- 
come so hateful to the people that, outside the horde 
of spies, and those who prospered under the methods 
of the old regime, few men could be found so base 
as to betray the leaders to the authorities. It will 
make a wonderful story, when it is fully told, that 
of these men working in secret and danger, many 
losing their lives and still more their fortunes, but 
spreading their propaganda, becoming ever stronger, 
until at last, having secured the support of a great 
army and a powerful Church, they won liberty for 
Turkey by the almost bloodless revolution that has 
taken all Europe by surprise. 

This secret society was to a large extent modelled 
on Freemasonry, and a considerable proportion of 
the early associates (Mussulmans for the most 
part, with some Jews) were members of the Masonic 
Lodges in Salonica. The machinery of Freemasonry, 



however, was not directly employed to further the 
propaganda, and the Lodges took no official cogni- 
zance of this political movement. It would obviously 
have been too dangerous to discuss such a conspiracy 
as this one at Masonic gatherings, where the treason 
of one man could destroy so many. The methods 
of the Italian secret societies, where a member is 
introduced to two or three of the affiliated only and 
so cannot betray more than this number, were there- 
fore adopted by those who framed the regulations 
of the new organisation. But still Freemasonry was 
a great help to the cause; for a member of the secret 
society who happened to be also a Mason, while he 
was seeking, as was his duty, to gain fresh initiates, 
could more readily approach a brother Mason than 
any other man with this purpose, knowing that the 
very fact of being a Mason indicated a natural incli- 
nation to be in sympathy with the aims of the Young 
Turks, and feeling also that he could rely upon the 
secrecy and fidelity of one of the fraternity. 

The secret society was first known as the "Com- 
mittee of Liberty," but shortly after its creation it 
was amalgamated with the "Ottoman Committee 
of Union and Progress" in Paris, and became the 
working centre of that organisation. From that 
time the "Ottoman Committee of Union and Prog- 
ress" had its secret headquarters in Salonica, while 
Ahmed Riza and his associates remained in Paris to 
form an important branch committee that was able 
to further the cause in many ways from the secure 
sanctuary of a foreign capital. Thus it was in Paris, 



in 1907, more than a year after the establishment of 
the Committee's head-quarters in Salonica, that, at 
the instance of the Paris branch, there was held that 
Congress of Turkish revolutionaries of which I have 
already spoken, at which Committees representing 
the various races of the Empire agreed to co-operate 
with the Young Turks. 

The secret central committee, therefore, held its 
meetings in Salonica, and kept up a constant com- 
munication with branch committees in Scutari of 
Albania, Monastir, Janina, and other towns, and 
later it had its small local committee in nearly every 
village of Macedonia and Albania. Before the out- 
break of the revolution it had established its branch 
committees in all the important towns of Asiatic 
Turkey. Of those who composed the Salonica Com- 
mittee I have met many. They were all men from 
what we should term the upper and middle classes — 
young officers in the army who had passed through 
the military schools and had profited by the splen- 
did system of instruction introduced by the genius of 
Baron von der Goltz — the one good thing for which 
Turkey has reason to be grateful to Germany; young 
civil servants of the different State departments; 
land-owning Macedonian beys; professors; lawyers; 
doctors and some of the ulemas. Of officers of high 
rank and of the heads of the Civil Service there were 
none; for most of these were creatures of the Palace, 
and such as may have had sympathy with the Young 
Turk cause were, in consequence of their position, 
too closely watched by the Yildiz spies to take an 



active part in the movement. All the men — for 
the most part men under middle age — who became 
members of the secret committee were distinguished 
for their intense and unselfish patriotism, men who 
commanded the respect and admiration of every 
foreigner who has come in contact with them. This 
revolution did not come from below, from debased 
city mobs or ignorant peasantry, but from above, 
from all that is best in Turkey. The self-seeking 
demagogue had no part in this revolution. These 
men, who devoted their lives to overthrowing the 
Despotism, represented the honest and patriotic 
Ottoman gentry, men who placed country above 
self-interest, the natural leaders of the people, be- 
longing to a dominant race which knows how to 
command men — a more useful quality than much 
administrative knowledge. 

Some of the principal members of the Committee 
of Union and Progress in Salonica spoke to me when 
I was in that city, in November last, without reserve 
— as they will do to an Englishman who has gained 
their confidence — concerning their early secret or- 
ganisation; for now that the danger is almost over 
they are quite willing that the methods which they 
were compelled to adopt before the granting of the 
Constitution should be made known. To under- 
stand with sympathy what I am about to describe, 
and recognise how fully justified were such assas- 
sinations as were ordered by the Committee, one 
must bear in mind the terrible nature of the late 
regime; how thousands of spies were scattered over 



the country whose business it was to denounce sus- 
pects to the Palace; how many of the best men in 
the country suddenly disappeared from their wives 
and families, never to return; how torture and 
death were the penalties for those who sought to 
set bounds to the Sultan's absolutism. 

The machinery of this wonderful secret Society, 
which, throughout the three years preceding the 
granting of the Constitution, did its dangerous work 
so well, so unpityingly when the occasion demanded, 
but always so justly, has been described to me as 
follows by some of its best known founders: 

The propagandist work of a member of the Society 
was two-fold. First, he had to gain adherents to the 
cause among all classes of the Turkish population 
by using arguments, explanations, and exhorta- 
tions. Secondly, he had to persuade certain care- 
fully selected persons from among his relations and 
more intimate friends to become affiliated to the 
Society, and this he had to do with the greatest 
caution. Thus, a member of the Society, whom we 
will call A, would approach his friend and, perhaps, 
brother Mason, B, whom he knew to be a righteous 
and patriotic man, to whom the methods of the Des- 
potism must necessarily be detestable, and carefully 
sound him. Having satisfied himself that his friend 
was inspired by a true zeal, and was prepared to 
make great sacrifices for his country's salvation, A 
would say to B, "I have a secret, a great mystery, 
which I should like to confide to you. Will you 
swear never to divulge what I am about to say to 



any one?" On B's taking the required oath, A 
would explain to him that there existed a powerful 
secret society of which he himself was a member, 
whose aim was the destruction of the existing sys- 
tem of government, and would then ask whether as 
a patriot he would like to join the brotherhood, 
warning him at the same time of the serious step 
he was about to take and of the great dangers 
which he would have to face. 

On B's replying in the affirmative, A would leave 
him, and a few days later two messengers would 
come to B and call upon him in the name of his 
friend A to follow them. The messengers would 
lead B to a lonely place, there blindfold him, and 
then take him to some retired house or recess in the 
forest which had been selected as the place of his 
initiation. Here he would be ordered to stand, the 
bandage still across his eyes, while he was addressed 
by two or more eloquent speakers, who would draw 
a vivid picture of the evils of the tyranny, of the 
certain destruction of the Ottoman Empire to which 
ill government was leading, of the great suffering 
which the Palace espionage had inflicted on so many 
of their friends and relations, and would show in 
burning words that it was the duty of every good 
Ottoman to do his utmost by all possible methods 
to assist in the liberation of Turkey. Turks often 
possess great oratorical powers, and I am assured 
that in nearly every instance the candidate would 
be moved to tears by these impressive exhortations. 
The candidate would be sworn to secrecy and fidel- 



ity and unquestioning obedience to the orders of 
the Committee, on the Koran and on the sword, 
and he would then be solemnly declared to be affil- 
iated to the secret Society. In the rare cases in 
which the candidate was not a Mussulman the oath 
would of course be administered in some other way. 

The bandage would then be removed from his 
eyes and he would find himself in the presence of 
five masked men wearing long cloaks. One of these 
would again address the initiate. First, he would 
explain to him that precautions to secure secrecy 
and to make treason difficult were indispensable to 
the very existence of the Society, for the spies of the 
Palace were ever around it, while it was possible that 
some were even within its circle; that therefore it 
was expedient that the initiates should be as little 
known to each other as possible; and that it was on 
this account that those who now addressed him were 
masked, and, moreover, persons whom he had never 
previously met, so that it might be impossible for 
him to identify them by their voices. The speaker 
would then proceed to explain to the initiate his 
duties and obligations. He would remind him that 
the Committee condemned to death not only trai- 
tors but those who disobeyed its orders, and impress 
upon him that by the oath he had taken in the name 
of God and Mohammed his life would have to be 
devoted to the cause until Turkey was freed, that 
he belonged body and soul to the Society, and would 
have to go to whatever part of the world he was sent, 
and do whatever the Society bade him, even were it 



to kill his own brother. At the conclusion of this 
ritual B would again be blindfolded and be led away 
by the two messengers. 

For some weeks or months after this initiation B 
would undergo a term of probation; orders would 
come to him by secret channels and he would obey 
them, but he would see no member of the Society. 
His introducer, A, was responsible for his fidelity, 
and should B so act as to be condemned to death by 
the Society, it would be the hand of his friend A 
which would have to slay him. At last, B having 
proved himself worthy, the messengers would again 
summon him to a meeting of the secret Committee, 
and after a ceremony somewhat similar to the first, 
he would be affiliated to one of the companies into 
which the Society was divided, each company con- 
taining about one hundred and fifty members. But 
B would be made known to four men of his com- 
pany and no more, for it was in circles of five only 
that the initiates used to meet. So it was impos- 
sible for any false member to betray more than five 
comrades — the four of his own circle and his intro- 
ducer. In each circle of five one member served as 
a link with the other circles of the company; while 
each company had certain members who were the 
links between it and the other companies and with 
the Central Committee. 

Of this secret Central Committee I can say little; 
for though now, the Despotism having been de- 
stroyed, the members of the Committee of Union 
and Progress have come out in the open, and every 



one knows who they are, they still appoint a secret 
central organisation, the names of whose members 
no man will tell you and few men know. But one 
is assured that this Committee has no president 
and no leaders, that all are equal in it, and that a 
new chairman is elected at each meeting; for indi- 
vidual ambition is deprecated, and it was the origi- 
nal aim to make of this a band of brothers working 
with unselfish devotion, unknown, without desire 
for any recognition, for their country. The forma- 
tion of any dominant group or camarilla within the 
Central Committee is made impossible by the reg- 
ulations which govern its procedure. 

Just before the proclamation of the Constitu- 
tion the initiates of the Committee of Union and 
Progress, in Macedonia alone, numbered fifteen 
thousand. It was the duty of each member to 
spread the propaganda by conversing with men of 
all classes, a delicate and very dangerous task, as 
one may well imagine. Many were arrested at the 
instance of the spies, to be imprisoned or to lose 
their lives. Many of the captured were taken to the 
Palace and offered large bribes in return for infor- 
mation, and, this failing, tortures were applied, but 
with no effect. There was not one single instance 
of the betrayal of his brethren by a member of 
the Society. 

The organisation of this wonderful secret Society 
was very complete. To meet the expenses each 
member was compelled to contribute a fixed per- 
centage of his income to the Committee chest, while 



rich members, in addition to this tax, made gener- 
ous donations when funds were required. Arms and 
ammunition were secretly purchased. A consider- 
able sum was set apart annually to provide for the 
families of members who lost life or liberty while 
working for the cause. Their several duties were 
apportioned to the members. There were the mes- 
sengers who, disguised in various ways, went to and 
fro over the Empire carrying verbal reports and 
instructions, for naturally communications between 
branches of the association and orders to individual 
members could not be confided to the postal and 
telegraph services. There were the men who had 
to assassinate those whom the Committee had con- 
demned to death — Government officials who were 
working against the movement with a dangerous 
zeal, and Palace spies who were getting on the scent. 
Other members were sent out to act as spies in the 
interest of the cause, and the contre espionage became 
at last so thorough that it baffled the espionage of the 
Palace. Men whom the Palace paid as its spies were 
often the loyal agents of the secret Society. The 
Committee had its agents in every department of 
the Government, in the Civil Service, in the War 
Office, in the Custom House, in the post and tele- 
graph offices, even in the foreign post-offices in 
Constantinople and other big cities; so that official 
communications were intercepted and read and the 
most secret designs of the Palace were revealed to 
the Committee and could therefore be circumvented. 
The Committee had its spies in the Turkish Em- 



bassies in foreign countries, among the retainers of 
influential Pashas, and in the Yildiz Palace itself. 
For example, a correspondent, writing to the Times 
from Salonica, tells the story of Dr. Baha-ud-Din, 
formerly physician to one of the Imperial princes, 
who had been exiled to the Russian frontier. He 
returned secretly to the capital, and for the three 
months preceding the revolution remained in the 
Palace undetected, supplying the Committee with a 
good deal of useful information. Suspicion fell upon 
him a few days before the revolution broke out, so 
he had to flee for his life, and became an active 
member of the Committee in Salonica. 

Then there was the host of propagandists who 
were scattered all over the Empire doing their dan- 
gerous work, urging the civil population to embar- 
rass the Government by a refusal to pay taxes and 
to prepare for a general rising, and persuading the 
soldiery of the righteousness of the movement, and 
obtaining their promise not to fight against their 
own countrymen when ordered to do so. So as to 
obtain easy access to houses and barracks, Turkish 
officers disguised themselves as hawkers of cheap 
jewellery and ribbons, or as the peripatetic sutlers 
who sell sherbet and little comforts to the Turkish 
soldier; and in their packs were always concealed 
the revolutionary tracts that were to spread the 
propaganda. One well-known officer for long kept 
a barber's shop in Baghdad, and inoculated his cus- 
tomers with the doctrines of the conspiracy. Dr. 
Nazim Bey, who had been exiled, wandered over 



Asia Minor for eighteen months, sometimes dis- 
guised as a peddler, sometimes as a hodja, in order 
to win over the Anatolian regiments. He made initi- 
ates among the officers, and conversed with the men 
to such good effect that when the Sultan, in the last 
day of the old regime, despatched several battalions 
of the Anatolian army, to crush the military insur- 
rection in Macedonia, these troops not only refused 
to fire on their comrades, but joined forces with them. 

One remarkable feature of the propaganda was 
the great part taken in it by the Turkish women. 
They were largely employed, for example, in the 
delivery of messages and the carrying of documents; 
for it was easy for the wife of a member of the Com- 
mittee to visit the wives of other members without 
attracting observation. The respect that is paid to 
women in Turkey gives them immunity from being 
searched; the women's apartments in a Turkish 
house are held to be inviolable, and a police officer 
would not venture to infringe these cherished cus- 
toms without very weighty cause. The following 
incident exemplifies this: Shortly after the revolu- 
tion had made the Committee the virtual ruler of 
Turkey, some young officers were sent to pay a 
domiciliary visit to the house of a Pasha suspected 
of being a party to a reactionary plot. They arrested 
the Pasha, but made a vain search for incriminatory 
documents. At last they came across a chest that 
had obviously been concealed, and felt confident that 
they had at last discovered what they were seeking. 
At this juncture the Pasha's wife came forward and 




stated that the chest contained her jewels and other 
property ; whereupon the officers refrained from open- 
ing it, and, saluting the lady, left the house. 

The first and most important task before the Com- 
mittee was, of course, that of bringing round to the 
cause the Macedonian garrison — the Third Army 
Corps. The disaffection of these troops, the reasons 
for which I have explained, had in places manifested 
itself in open mutiny, and the incompetence and 
corruption of some of the officers of superior rank, 
who were indebted to Palace favouritism for their 
position, filled both the junior officers and the rank 
and file with an ever-increasing disgust. By degrees 
a number of the young officers were affiliated to the 
Committee, and received instructions to win over 
the rank and file. The fact that the troops were 
moving about in small bodies, hunting down the 
Bulgarian bands, rendered this proceeding the more 
easy; for while engaging in this work, regimental 
officers, unrestrained by the supervision of their 
superiors, could give political instruction to the 
men, and were able to hold meetings among them- 
selves without attracting the attention of spies; the 
company commanders used also to deliver lectures 
to their men in out-of-the-way places, where any 
stranger would be conspicuous and Palace spies 
would be immediately recognised. Whenever a spy 
was discovered he promptly disappeared, soldiers 
who had taken the oath of fealty to the Committee 
being given the word to kill him. At last the whole 
Macedonian army was won over to the cause of the 



Young Turks, and as a consequence of the work 
performed by the disguised officers in other parts of 
the Empire, the Second Army Corps, which garri- 
sons the Vilayet of Adrianople, also contained a 
large proportion of officers and men in sympathy 
with the movement — troops hostile to the Despot- 
ism thus enclosing the capital on all sides — while 
on the farther shore of the Bosphorus, Anatolia, 
whose sturdy peasantry supplies the Ottoman Em- 
pire with its finest troops, had been similarly pre- 
pared by Dr. Nazim Bey and numerous officers. 

To those Englishmen who knew something of the 
Turkish army it appeared an amazing thing that 
these soldiers, who worshipped the Sultan with a 
blind faith not only as their sovereign, but as the 
head of the one true religion, "the Commander of 
the Faithful," "the Shadow of God upon earth," 
— however discontented they might be, however 
ready to mutiny, as they sometimes did mutiny, 
against their officers — could be persuaded to join 
in a movement of which the avowed object was the 
deposition of the Sultan Abdul Hamid. The soldier 
could only be won over by convincing him that relig- 
ion itself commanded the overthrow of the tyrant. 
It will be remembered how, in 1876, the Sheikh-ul- 
Islam, as chief of the interpreters of the Sacred Law, 
decreed that the Sultan Abd-ul-Aziz should be 
deposed because, in ruining the State which God 
had confided to him, he had broken his sacred trust, 
and could no longer be head of the believers. The 
young officers put the case in the same way, and 



in simple words, to the honest and devout soldiery; 
they quoted the passages in the Koran which de- 
nounce tyranny, and showed that the Sultan was 
not true to his country, and therefore had forfeited 
the privileges God had lent to him. The fact that 
Austria and Germany had been granted conces- 
sions to construct railways through Turkish territory 
(the proposed railway through the Sanjak of Novi- 
Bazaar, which would afford Austria railway connec- 
tion with Salonica, and the German-owned Baghdad 
railway) was a proof to the soldier that the Palace 
was selling the country bit by bit to the foreigner. 

During the early days of the propaganda, hodjas 
who had joined the Committee, and officers dis- 
guised as hodjas, being freely admitted into bar- 
racks in their capacity of preachers, advocated these 
doctrines, and satisfied the religious scruples of the 
men; and when, later, the Sheikh-ul-Islam declared 
himself in favour of the Constitution, there remained 
no doubt in their minds that they were acting as 
their creed commanded in following the lead of their 
young officers. As a matter of fact, it was not diffi- 
cult to show that Abdul Hamid, to quote from Mr. 
Hamil Halid's book, "The Diary of a Young Turk," 
was "the worst enemy of Islam, as no Moslem ruler 
has ever brought by his misdeeds so much shame 
upon the faith as he has. Any one who has observed 
his career closely knows that his actions are diamet- 
rically opposed to the principles of the Mussul- 
man law and creed." Moreover, the Turkish soldier, 
like the soldiers in other armies and the majority of 



healthy young men, can be appealed to through his 
stomach, and he naturally acquired an affection for 
and confidence in these majors, captains, and lieuten- 
ants of the new school who sympathised with him, 
pitied his wretched condition, and with their own 
money, or the Committee funds, supplemented his 
miserable rations and supplied him with comforts. 

Of the methods of the propaganda in Macedonia 
we learn a good deal from the published letters of 
Major Niazi Bey, the officer who first raised the 
standard of revolt. He explains how, gradually, the 
young officers, hitherto estranged from one another 
by the mutual suspicions engendered by the sys- 
tem of espionage, were emboldened by the patriotic 
hopes held up before them, and through the pos- 
session of a common secret became as a band of 
brothers, mutual confidence and affection increasing 
daily; and how even those who had not been made 
members of the secret Society, and knew not its 
mysteries, were convinced by their affiliated com- 
rades that the Committee was powerful and just, 
and was working in the sacred name of liberty for 
the integrity of the fatherland; and so sympathised 
heart and soul with the movement, and were in 
readiness to co-operate with the revolutionaries. 

In the meanwhile the Committee was steadily 
undermining the entire civil as well as military ad- 
ministration of the Empire. It acted, as a member 
of the association put it to me, like a well-ordered 
but secret Government. It kept books in which 
were inscribed the names of all the higher Govern- 



ment officials, with particulars as to their careers 
and habits — their dossiers, in short. Some of the 
enlightened and right-minded of these officials had 
been gained over to the cause; the others were 
closely watched, and whether they were Valis, In- 
spectors General, or Governors of districts, or what 
not, their moral influence was destroyed, and their 
authority was made impotent by the fact that their 
subordinates, on whom they had to rely for the 
execution of their wishes, had almost without excep- 
tion become adherents of the Committee. 




IT had been calculated by the Young Turks that 
the time would not be ripe for their great coup 
until the autumn of 1909, but the menace 
of further foreign intervention in Macedonia and 
an active campaign against the Committee, which 
was opened by the Palace at the beginning of 1908, 
precipitated the revolt. The propaganda had been 
spreading rapidly, the movement had been prosper- 
ing, when suddenly the prospect darkened, and there 
were happenings that threatened even to break up 
the Society and shatter the hopes of the reformers. 

It became known to the Committee that the Brit- 
ish Government had decided to withdraw from that 
"Concert of Europe," which had failed so signally 
in dealing with the question of reforms in Mace- 
donia, and that England and Russia were now going 
to work together to introduce a most drastic scheme 
of reform, which would include the suppression of 
all the bands in Macedonia, of whatever race or 
creed, by means of flying columns of troops. This 
intended co-operation of England and Russia greatly 
alarmed the Committee, such intervention, in the 
opinion of its leaders, necessarily leading to the dis- 



integration of the Ottoman Empire, and to an im- 
mediate foreign domination of Macedonia that would 
make it impossible for the Committee to carry on 
its patriotic work in this, the stronghold of the 
movement and the contemplated base for the revo- 
lutionary campaign in the following year. 

The Committee of Union and Progress therefore 
held secret meetings in Salonica in May, 1908, and it 
was decided, in view of what was happening, that it 
had now become necessary for the Committee to 
reveal to the European Powers the fact of its real 
existence and great influence, and also to explain to 
those Powers, especially to England, whose aim was 
honest but which, in the opinion of many Turks, 
was being duped by Russia, that the Committee 
alone could bring peace to Macedonia, and that 
for various good reasons it would be better that 
Europe should abandon all these futile schemes of 
reform and leave Macedonia to work out her own 

A manifesto of the Committee was therefore 
drawn up and a copy of it was despatched to each 
of the European cabinets. These documents were 
posted in the foreign post-offices in Salonica by mem- 
bers of the Committee. A friend of mine told me 
of what a narrow escape he had while taking one 
of these letters to a certain foreign post-office. On 
entering the office he handed the letter to a Levan- 
tine clerk, who, after reading the superscription, put 
to him the unusual question, "From whom do you 
bring this letter?" "From Mr. Snider," replied my 



friend, with ready invention, and hastened to leave 
the place. The clerk, evidently a Palace spy, fol- 
lowed him outside and looked up and down the 
street, no doubt to find some agent whom he could 
send to follow up the suspect. My friend fortu- 
nately got clear away before the pursuit could be 
started, and for the future he gave that post-office 
a wide berth. 

The manifesto itself is a long one. My quota- 
tions from it are literal translations from the origi- 
nal Turkish version. It speaks in the name of the 
Committee of Union and Progress, and, of course, as 
coming from a secret society, bears no signatures. 
It opens thus: 

"We, the children of the fatherland called Tur- 
key, of which Macedonia is a part — actuated by 
the love which we bear to the land of our birth, our 
desire to work in harmony to bring about its tran- 
quillity and welfare, and our wish to disabuse your 
minds of the false impression which we know you 
entertain to the effect that we (the Committee of 
Union and Progress) are few in number and mis- 
chievous in our aims — now write to you the follow- 
ing, to explain to you from what evils Macedonia is 
really suffering, to show you what is the true remedy 
and the right path, and to save Europe from a num- 
ber of vain efforts and avoidable difficulties." 

The manifesto then proceeds to demonstrate that 
the efforts of the European Powers to introduce 
reforms into Macedonia had not only been attended 
with no success, but had made the condition of the 



country worse than it had been before their interfer- 
ence, and that all the so-called remedies that had so 
far been applied had been introduced by foreigners 
only, "who assumed an attitude of generosity," and 
not by "Ottomans, who must know more about their 
own country than the foreigner does. 

"We are told that the object of European reforms 
is to insure the happiness of Macedonia, in answer 
to which we assert that Europe, in spite of all her 
efforts, has been unable to attain this object and 
never will attain it. . . . The intervention has been 
useless for Europeans, injurious to the Ottomans. 
The Great Powers themselves admit the failure of 
the measures adopted by them; and yet now, Eu- 
rope, instead of honourably withdrawing from this 
business, is, so it appears, about to make Macedonia 
the arena of yet further experiments." Then the 
manifesto, after discussing the new schemes pro- 
posed by the British and Russian Governments, and 
showing how these, if carried out, would destroy 
the independence of an integral part of the Ottoman 
Government, declares that "We Mussulmans and 
Christians, united under the name of the Ottoman 
Committee of Union and Progress, not influenced 
by national or religious fanaticism, are working 
together to deliver our country from foreign inter- 
vention, and to obtain our personal and political 
liberty from the existing Government. We posi- 
tively assert that these plans of England and Russia 
would sever Macedonia from the Ottoman Empire. 
We therefore cannot accept these proposed meas- 



ures, which would lead to the general ruin of the 
Empire, and are opposed to justice and civilization. 
We are determined to employ all means to obtain 
our natural rights." The manifesto points out that 
the purely selfish action of Bulgaria, Greece, and 
Servia, which for purposes of annexation sent their 
bands to murder and ravage in Macedonia, was the 
chief cause of the existing state of anarchy in the 
country; and it has a slap at our humanitarians, 
whose sole sympathy was with the Christians. As 
the first public declaration of the Committee, this is 
an exceedingly interesting document. 

I need scarcely say that the Committee of Union 
and Progress did not receive a reply to its memo- 
randum from any of the Great Powers. Cabinets 
cannot well recognise and hold communication with 
a revolutionary organisation whose aim it is to 
overthrow the Government of a friendly Power. 
Probably some of those to whom the manifesto 
was addressed read it with a contemptuous smile, 
little dreaming that within two months this band 
of unknown men would make itself the master of 
an Empire. One or two newspapers published brief 
summaries of the manifesto without comment, for 
the world did not take the Young Turkey party seri- 
ously until the revolution was an accomplished fact. 

On June 10 — that is, a week or so after the Com- 
mittee had issued this manifesto — King Edward 
VII met the Tsar at Reval and shortly afterwards 
the details of the Anglo-Russian scheme for the paci- 
fication and better rule of Macedonia were communi- 



cated to the Powers. This forced the hands of the 
Committee; it was realised that the blow for Otto- 
man liberty must be struck soon, or it would be too 
late; but that which precipitated the movement, 
driving the Macedonian officers into an immediate 
revolt in self-defence, was the energetic action taken 
by the Palace spies at about this time. 

In the beginning of 1908 the Palace became 
alarmed by the reports that came from the Macedo- 
nian garrisons. It is true that up to that time the 
discontent of the troops had assumed no revolution- 
ary character, and at the meetings which they held 
in all the military centres the men, while demanding 
their rights under the military code, their arrears of 
pay, their proper rations, and so forth, uttered no 
threats against the Government; but the discipline 
and organisation of the army had been destroyed, 
and a number of the reservists in Macedonia went 
so far as to refuse to obey the call for service in 
the Hedjaz. The Palace now learnt that a number 
of young officers were taking advantage of this dis- 
affection of the rank and file to spread treasonable 
propaganda. The rapid progress of the Young Tur- 
key movement, and the wide dissemination of its 
doctrines through the towns and villages by trusted 
emissaries, made it impossible to preserve a complete 
secrecy, and the creatures of the Palace, though 
they could not place their hands upon those who 
directed this movement, felt that they were in 
the presence of a great danger, all the more ter- 
rible on account of the mystery that enveloped it. 



So they laid their apprehensions before their ever- 
fearful master, with the result that it was decided to 
take steps to effectually stamp out the conspiracy. 

Espionage has ever been the favourite weapon of 
Abdul Hamid ; so spies were now poured into Mace- 
donia to worm out the secrets of the movement 
and discover the leaders, and of these spies many 
never returned to tell their tale. The Sultan also 
gave orders to the senior officers in Macedonia to 
find out all they could about the movement, to 
arrest suspected officers, and send them to Constan- 
tinople, and to address the men solemnly concern- 
ing their duties, and especially impress it upon them 
that to withdraw their fidelity and obedience from 
the Caliph, "the Shadow of God," "the Commander 
of the Faithful," was regarded by the Moslem 
religion as the most heinous of sins. In March a 
special Commission, under Mahir Pasha, was sent 
from Constantinople to Salonica to institute an 
inquisition, but despite numerous denunciations, 
perquisitions, arrests, and tortures, it collected little 
evidence, and entirely failed to get at the heart of 
the plot, for there were no traitors within that cir- 
cle of devoted men. But the Commission was able 
to report to the Palace that there undoubtedly 
existed in Macedonia a powerful secret society dan- 
gerous to the regime, and that the Macedonian 
troops could not be relied upon to support the 

The work of the Commission alarmed the Com- 
mittee of Union and Progress, several of whose most 



useful members had been seized; and the young offi- 
cers in the army who had been affiliated realised their 
danger, and came to the conclusion that it would be 
expedient to start the insurrection as soon as possi- 
ble, before further arrests had seriously weakened 
their cause. Thus it happened that, quite a year 
before the time originally contemplated by the Com- 
mittee, Major Niazi Bey, at Resna, on July 3, took 
the momentous step. He openly disavowed his alle- 
giance to his sovereign, fled to the mountains with 
a band of Moslem civilians and some of the sol- 
diers under his command, and issued his rebel mani- 
festo, in which he called upon all patriots to join 
in destroying the Government. I will tell later the 
story of the doings of Niazi Bey, Enver Bey, and 
the other insurgent leaders in the mountains; how 
officers and men rallied round them; how they per- 
suaded the Bulgarian bands to join forces with them; 
how at last the entire Macedonian army had become 
the army of the Committee; and how, within three 
weeks of that historic event — the raising of the 
banner of revolt at Resna — the revolution had 
triumphed and the Despotism was a thing of the 
past. At this stage I will describe the series of 
events that precipitated the final struggle between 
the Palace and the Committee. 

In view of the increasing activity of its enemies, 
the Committee, at its secret meetings, condemned 
to death and ordered the execution of such instru- 
ments of the Palace as were the most dangerous to 
the cause, including several of the senior officers in 



the Macedonian army and all those who were found 
to be spies or informers. Towards the end it must 
have become difficult for the Palace to find men 
willing to embark on so dangerous a profession as 
that of spy, even for the highest pay. Had it not 
been for these assassinations the conspiracy must 
have failed; at the cost of these few lives Turkey was 
saved; and a terrible persecution of her best sons by 
the vengeful Palace was warded off. These killings 
of the condemned as often as not were done in broad 
daylight, in a busy street, by officers in uniform, and 
no man interfered with the executioners. 

Thus, on July 7, General Shemshi Pasha, an able 
soldier, who, as possessing considerable experience in 
suppressing Macedonian and Albanian risings, had 
been sent to crush the mutiny, was shot dead in the 
streets of Monastir in broad daylight by a young 
officer. Next, the officer commanding at Seres and 
certain other officers who upheld the cause of the 
Palace were killed. On July 10 the imam, or chap- 
lain, of the artillery regiment in Monastir, who had 
been acting as a spy in barracks, was shot in the 
streets of Salonica while he was on his way to the 
railway station to carry his information to the capi- 
tal. On the same day, and also in Salonica, an 
attempt was made on the life of Haki Bey, a Palace 
informant, who had been a member of the Commis- 
sion of inquiry. On July 12, General Sadik Pasha 
was shot while on a Messagerie steamer bound from 
Salonica to Constantinople. The Committee was 
now fighting, so to speak, with the halter round its 



neck, and took no risks; it removed those whose 
action might bring ruin upon the cause of the Young 
Turks, for the chances of success or failure were still 
very uncertain. 

The Palace realised its danger, and knew — what 
the outer world did not know — that this was no or- 
dinary mutiny of discontented troops. The Sultan's 
most trusted officers, when sent to crush the rising, 
could not get their men to fire upon their insurgent 
fellow-Moslems, and were sometimes themselves 
assassinated by them. For the first time in history 
the name of the Padishah had failed to inspire the 
pious Ottoman soldiery with reverence and obe- 
dience. The Palace was now thoroughly alarmed, 
and no measure was omitted that could help to 
bring about the destruction of the Young Turkey 
conspiracy. It was decided, among other things, 
that another effort should be made to get at the 
very heart of the movement, to strangle the secret 
Central Committee, which, as the spies suspected, 
worked in Salonica; for if the ringleaders and the 
central organisation could be exterminated, the 
movement would become a lifeless thing and fall to 

So Colonel Nazim Bey, an A.D.C. of the Sultan, 
one of the most detested and feared of the instru- 
ments of the Despotism, was sent to Salonica with 
a body of spies to unearth the secret Committee. 
Nazim was a typical creature of the Palace. Ex- 
travagant and vicious, ever in debt, like Catiline, 
prodigal of his own while greedy for the possessions 



of others, clever, and quite unscrupulous, he was 
ready to sell his soul for the moneys of which he 
was ever in need. He was appointed Commandant 
de Place in Salonica. Denunciations were well paid 
for, so he denounced many officers, professional 
men, and students on the flimsiest evidence, for real 
evidence was not easily procurable. On one day he 
despatched thirty-eight young officers to Constan- 
tinople, who were imprisoned on their arrival. But 
in many cases those whose arrest he ordered were 
immediately set free or escaped with the assistance 
of officials in the police and other departments, 
many of whom, as I have explained, were secret 
adherents of the Committee. Nazim, who knew 
well what found favour in his master's eyes, also 
sent reports to the Palace regarding the conduct 
of his superiors in Salonica, accusing distinguished 
general officers of the head-quarters staff and others 
of carelessness, partiality, and covert sympathy with 
the Young Turks, with the result that he was given 
still further emoluments, and was so strongly sup- 
ported by the Palace that he was enabled to arro- 
gate successfully the chief authority in the city. 
The Committee of Union and Progress condemned 
Nazim to death, one of his own subordinates sign- 
ing the decree. A young lieutenant of infantry 
offered himself as the executioner. Nazim, however, 
had taken fright, and on July 11 he fled from Salo- 
nica. As he was driving to the station in his car- 
riage he was shot at, but was only slightly wounded ; 
so he was able to reach Constantinople and report 



to the Sultan the information which he had col- 
lected concerning the revolutionary movement. 

As the result of Nazim Bey's alarming report, 
another Commission of inquiry was sent from Con- 
stantinople to Salonica. It was under the presi- 
dency of Ismail Mahir Pasha, General of Division and 
A.D.C. to the Sultan — who, it having been discov- 
ered by the Committee that he was the leader of a 
reactionary plot, was shot dead in the streets of 
Stamboul by an officer in December last — and it con- 
tained, among other notable men, Youssouf Pasha, 
Rejet Pasha, and Sadik Pasha. The ostensible object 
of the Commission was to inspect arsenals and 
military stores; but this the Commissioners never 
attempted to do. They took up their abode in the 
principal hotel in Salonica. A friend of mine, now 
editor of one of Turkey's principal papers, who was 
told off by the Committee to live in the hotel and 
keep the Commissioners under observation, found 
that they rarely ventured out of doors, but sent 
for and proceeded to examine closely all manner of 

The contre espionage conducted against them by 
the Committee to a large extent baffled their de- 
signs; even the people employed by the Commission 
to gather incriminating information were as often 
as not initiates of the secret Society. But though 
the Commission could not get at the heart of the 
conspiracy it displayed great activity, and the de- 
nunciations to the Palace were numerous; for, as 
with the other spy commissions, proofs of com- 



plicity in the plot were not necessary to condemna- 
tion, and to be known as an honest and patriotic 
Ottoman subject was sufficient ground for accusa- 
tion. The Commission also had its branches in the 
interior of Macedonia. In Monastir, Persepe, and 
other garrison towns certain officers became its 
agents; but most of these were discovered by the 
Committee and had to flee, and some, including 
Sami Bey, Commissioner of Police in Monastir, were 
destroyed by the executioners of the Committee. 

So thoroughly had all the machinery of official 
authority been destroyed in Macedonia that it was 
difficult for the Commissioners to secure the arrests 
of those who had been denounced, therefore treach- 
erous methods were now employed to get the ring- 
leaders within the clutches of the Palace. The 
Sultan believed that every man had his price, and 
on previous occasions he had found bribery succeed 
where terrorism failed. The most flattering letters 
were sent to Enver Bey and other young staff-officers 
who had been forwarding the revolutionary cause in 
the interior of Macedonia with such marked success; 
they were invited to the Palace and were promised 
not only forgiveness but large pecuniary rewards and 
promotion to general rank. Many a good man from 
the time of Midhat Pasha had been tempted by the 
Palace to come out from some secure sanctuary to 
his destruction by such wiles as these. So Enver 
Bey and his comrades ignored this invitation, but at 
the same time, realising the danger of non-compliance, 
they fled to the mountains, organised bands, and as 



open insurgents precipitated the doom of the Despot- 
ism. At the same time other methods of concilia- 
tion were attempted by the Palace. A large sum of 
hastily borrowed money was sent to Salonica to dis- 
charge the arrears of pay due to the troops, and the 
authorities in Constantinople refrained from doing 
any injury to the thirty-eight young officers of the 
Macedonian army who had been imprisoned at the 
Ministry of War. To anticipate a little, these offi- 
cers were pardoned and released on July 21 as the 
result of the Committee's threat to kill all the gen- 
eral officers in Macedonia unless this was done. 

Ismail Pasha and his fellow-Commissioners re- 
turned to Constantinople, their efforts having had 
the effect of spreading the growth which they had 
been sent to root up. The Palace, which through- 
out this crisis exemplified the truth that whom the 
gods wish to destroy they first make demented, for 
it took every precaution too late and displayed a 
vacillation that ruined what chances it had, now 
decided to do what, if it had been done some months 
earlier, might have crushed the Young Turk move- 
ment and left Abdul Hamid the undisputed master 
of the Ottoman Empire. It was decided to de- 
spatch a large army from Asia to overpower the 
mutinous troops in Europe, and orders were given 
that no less than forty-eight battalions of Anatolian 
troops should be landed forthwith at Salonica. But 
before describing the failure of this last move on the 
part of the Despotism it will be necessary to go 
back a little to give an account of what had been 



happening in the interior of Macedonia since Niazi 
Bey had raised the standard of revolt at Resna on 
July 3, and of how everything was there being 
made ready for the general insurrection. 



HE situation in Macedonia in July, 1908, when 

Niazi Bey took to the mountains, may be 

summed up thus: The Bulgarian, Greek, 
Servian, Wallach, and Albanian bands were mur- 
dering, robbing, outraging each other's kin all over 
the country; the Committee of Union and Progress, 
having established its branches in Monastir, Och- 
rida, Resna, Persepe, and other places, was engaged 
in steadily spreading its propaganda through all the 
countryside, a large proportion of the young officers 
of the Macedonian army being initiates or sympa- 
thisers with the cause; and, lastly, the Palace had 
taken its precautions, and there was not a town or 
regiment without its secret Government agents fer- 
reting out the secrets of the conspiracy and denoun- 
cing the suspects. 

Niazi Bey, the young officer who was the first to 
raise the standard of revolt, was a good example of 
the men who were forthcoming in numbers at this 
period of Turkey's great danger, men who proved 
to the world the stubborn virtues of the old Otto- 
man stock, intensely patriotic, brooding over the 
sorrows of their country, seeking a plan for her 



deliverance, and, that plan once found, devoting 
themselves, with the passionate zeal of men obsessed 
by a fixed idea, to the carrying out of their high 
aim. They were not self-seeking; if they cherished 
ambition, it was for the martyr's death; they were 
prepared to sacrifice their careers, their wives and 
families, and their property for the cause, and, as we 
shall see, when Niazi set out with his little band of 
followers on that wonderful forlorn hope of his, each 
took an oath not to return to his wife and family 
until Turkey was freed; before going they bade last 
farewells to those they loved; for them it was to 
be victory or death. With a Mussulman Turk, love 
of country is a part of his religion, and his single- 
minded devotion has the strength of fanaticism. 
When in an oppressed country there is a sufficiency 
of men of this stamp, the days of the tyranny are 

This spirit breathes through the published letters 
and diary of Niazi Bey, wherein, telling us a good 
deal in very frank fashion about his thoughts, as- 
pirations, and emotions, he provides us with a most 
interesting human document. That he thus writes 
so freely and often with poetical diction concerning 
his sentiments will surprise Englishmen, who have 
always heard that reserve is one of the character- 
istics of the Turk. The Turk is reserved in his 
relations with the Western European, who so little 
understands him. But the Turk, as all his literature 
proves, is sentimental and emotional with the senti- 
ment and emotion that are the sources of strength 



and not of weakness. The Turk reveals his heart to 
his friend with a truthful simplicity that would seem 
lack of proper reticence to Englishmen, many of 
whom appear to be ashamed to let it be supposed 
that they have any affection for their wives or 
parents; but we ourselves, as the memoirs of the time 
show, did not take so much care to hide our emotions 
when Nelson was gaining victories on the seas. So 
Niazi, having no false shame, makes no secret of his 
brave deeds, his musings, and his affections, and one 
likes him the better for it. But Niazi, though de- 
voted to high ideals, was no dreamer or unpractical 
and rash revolutionary. Like most of his country- 
men he was endowed with plenty of cool common 
sense, and displayed the shrewdness and cunning of 
the Homeric Odysseus in the carrying through of 
his audacious adventure. 

Niazi Bey is himself an Albanian, his family be- 
longing to the Mussulman land-owning class. He 
was born in Resna, a little town between Monastir 
and Ochrida, in a region where fertile valleys studded 
with orchards and cornfields, grassy downs, forest- 
clad mountains, craggy Balkan peaks and gorges, 
and broad lakes combine to make as beautiful a 
scenery as can be found in Europe. Niazi had known 
this countryside from his childhood, and he had 
friends in all the villages, so when it was decided 
to make this the scene of the first outbreak of the 
insurrection it was recognised that he was the right 
man to come forward as leader. Niazi entered the 
army as a very young man and greatly distinguished 



himself in the Greek war. Then he was sent to his 
own country, and for the five years preceding the 
revolution he was employed with his battalion of 
chasseurs in pursuing the various brigand bands in 
the mountains. Again he gained distinction, tem- 
porarily crushed the power of the Bulgarian insur- 
rectionary Committee in the Resna district, and 
became very popular with the Moslem section of 
the population, whose property and lives he zeal- 
ously set himself to protect. The Committee of 
Union and Progress, exercising its powerful under- 
ground influence, obtained for him promotion to the 
rank of Major and his appointment to head-quarters 
at Resna, the place in which he could serve the 
cause best. For Niazi had been initiated into the 
secret Society by his brother officer, the now famous 
Enver Bey, and throughout his operations against 
the bands was acting as the instrument of the Com- 
mittee rather than that of the despotic Government. 

The story of Niazi's work at this time throws an 
interesting light on the condition of Macedonia. 
When he was moved to Resna, Bulgarian and Alba- 
nian bands, acting in conjunction, were terrorising 
that district. It was his duty to seize the leaders 
of the non-Moslem bands and to scatter the bands 
themselves. He was successful in doing this, though 
his methods were not cruel or vindictive; for, as he 
tells us, he was sorry to be hunting down these men 
who, after all, were fighting against a despotism 
which was as detestable to himself as it was to 
them. So he used to call together the Christian 



notables, who had known him from his childhood 
and trusted him, and point out to them that their 
separatist dreams could never be realised, that it 
was better for them to repudiate those bringers of 
bloodshed, the agitators in Athens, Sophia, and 
Belgrade, and join in union and brotherhood with 
their Moslem fellow-countrymen, whose grievances 
against the Government were as heavy as their 
own. His words, recognised as sincere, produced a 
good effect. 

At Niazi's advice some Moslem inhabitants of 
the district formed themselves into a band which 
was under the direction of the Committee of Union 
and Progress. This band used to go about the coun- 
try, protecting the villagers without any distinction 
of race or creed. Thus at one time it would be de- 
fending a village of Bulgarians against the attack 
of a Serb band, and at another time a Serb village 
against a Bulgarian band. This band was well dis- 
ciplined, committed no excesses of any kind, and 
did not even requisition the necessaries of life in the 
villages; conduct so extraordinarily Quixotic for a 
Macedonian band that it gained for the Committee 
the good opinion of the Albanians, who began to 
come in numbers to Ochrida and Monastir to take 
the oath of allegiance to the revolutionary leaders. 

But so fast as the labours of Niazi and the Com- 
mittee helped on the pacification of the country, so 
fast did the evil policy of the Government, alternat- 
ing between encouragement of lawlessness and cruel 
repression, undo all the good that had been effected. 



The corrupt tribunals could be bought. Thus, after 
the troops under Niazi had brought in some hundreds 
of people who had been found in the possession of 
bombs and arms, their trial resulted in the condem- 
nation of twenty poor peasants and the acquittal of 
all the really dangerous rebels who happened to be 
rich townsmen, a miscarriage of justice which held 
Niazi and his brother officers up to ridicule and of 
course encouraged the Christian bands to redouble 
their mischievous activity. On the other hand, the 
Government sent to Persepe, to put down the insur- 
gents, an officer of passionate temper who did not 
know the customs or languages of the people, and 
was unable to gain their confidence. He tortured 
and beat the peasantry and behaved with such in- 
humanity that the foreign Powers made representa- 
tions to the Porte on the subject. Thus dictated 
to, the Government arrested and sent away this 
officer, again with the result that the Bulgarian 
bands were encouraged in their brigandage, as was 
always the case when foreign intervention humili- 
ated Turkey. At this time, too, the Committee 
found an enemy in the Russian Consul for this dis- 
trict. He exerted his influence to procure the with- 
drawal of Niazi Bey from the scene of his successful 
labours. So Niazi was summoned to Salonica and 
was rebuked by the General in command, but he 
was not impeached and, fortunately for his country, 
he was allowed to return to his post at Resna. The 
Government of Russia was then arranging with that 
of England its joint intervention in Macedonia, and 



any improvement in the state of affairs of that 
region that might render such intervention unnec- 
essary would no doubt have been regarded as a 
calamity by Russian statesmen. 

At about this time Kermanle Metre, once a leader 
of a rebel band, who had been pardoned and had 
since done signal service as a Government officer, 
was tried and condemned to death unjustly, as the 
result of Russian intrigue. This cowardly betrayal 
of a valued servant by the Government aroused 
profound indignation throughout the Macedonian 
army, and was one of the most important of the 
factors that combined to effect the moral union 
between, not only the army, but also the Moslem 
civil population, with the Committee of Union and 
Progress; for the incident was a proof to the Mussul- 
mans that the Government was an immoral one, 
"acting in defiance of the Sacred Law, the Moslem 
Religion, and Ottoman ideals." Niazi Bey himself 
received orders to take Kermanle Metre to Monas- 
tir, and he determined to save his prisoner's life at 
the risk of his own. So, after arresting him, he 
connived at his flight, and the agents of the Com- 
mittee restored the man to his home. This escape 
of their compatriot from the gallows with the assist- 
ance of the Committee of Union and Progress pro- 
duced a great effect upon the Bulgarian peasants in 
the district, who said to themselves that a power 
that administered justice had at last risen in the 
land; and from this time the Bulgarian revolution- 
aries used to listen with an increasing respect and 



sympathy to Niazi when he argued that Mussul- 
mans and Christians, being all brothers of one 
fatherland, should work in union to obtain a Gov- 
ernment that would assure justice and equality for 

While Bulgarians, Greeks, and Serbs in Macedo- 
nia by noise and violence had been urging their 
racial claims in anticipation of the break-up of the 
Turkish Empire, the Moslem Turks under the direc- 
tion of the Committee of Union and Progress had 
been steadily and patiently working for the libera- 
tion of their country, employing methods so secret 
that the outer world knew nothing of the movement 
and was deceived into thinking that the Mussul- 
man backbone of the population was regarding the 
progress of events with indifference. The European 
Powers had ignored the memorandum in which the 
Committee had protested against the intervention 
of England and Russia in Macedonia, and patriots 
recognised that the time had arrived to come out 
in the open and strike the blow for freedom before 
that intervention and the increasing activity of the 
Palace spies had made it too late to act with any 
chance of success. Towards the end of June it was 
realised that it needed but a spark to start a gen- 
eral rising, and it was decided that certain young offi- 
cers, who were members of the Committee, should 
abandon the Government service, form bands in 
various places, take to the mountains and organise 
the insurrection of the united Mussulman and Chris- 
tian populations. 



Niazi Bey apparently was the first to conceive 
this idea. He had become the zealot whose mind 
is occupied by but one thought; he tells us that he 
did not sleep for three nights after learning the 
result of the Reval meeting. He formed his plan. 
The population of the Resna district was largely 
Moslem, and in both town and country the organ- 
isation of the Committee of Union and Progress 
was practically complete. In that mountainous and 
wooded region a Moslem band, helped by a sym- 
pathetic peasantry, could, if necessary, hold the 
Government troops for months and years. So he 
broached the matter to his friend Jemal Bey, presi- 
dent of the municipality of Resna; Tahir Effendi, 
the Police Commissioner; and other of the brethren; 
and it was arranged to hold a secret meeting of the 
adherents of the Committee in the house of one 
Haji Agha, on the evening of June 28. 

About fifty men were present at this meeting. 
The following is a summary of the report of the 
proceedings as published by the Committee. Niazi 
Bey, after the usual salutations, thus addressed the 
brethren: "Fellow-countrymen and comrades. You 
have sworn by the Unity of God to obey the com- 
mands of the Committee, and to save the country, 
which is being destroyed by traitors, by working 
together in concord and giving your lives and prop- 
erty freely. Is it not so?" All cried, "Evet! evet!" 
(Yes! yes!). "The time has come," continued Niazi, 
"to redeem that sacred vow. The country now needs 
our devotion. Our vile Government is regarding 



with indifference the compact which has been agreed 
upon at Reval between the Tsar of Russia and the 
King of England, which aims at the division of our 
fatherland and the delivery of it into the hands of 
our enemies. The cruel scheming of Europe can 
only be frustrated by the blood of the nation. It is 
the decision of the Committee that we should rise 
as a nation against the vile Turkish Government 
which is bowing its head before this humiliating 
compact. It was at Resna that the Bulgarians first 
revolted, and brought this calamity upon us. So, 
therefore, at Resna shall our first standard of revolt 
be raised — a general revolt, without distinction of 
creed or race, against the despotic Government. I 
have prepared everything. I can provide all that is 
needed to equip a band of two hundred men — 
money, arms, ammunition, cartridge-belts, sandals. 
I only need enthusiastic and devoted men; but I 
want in them a devotion that will sacrifice family, 
the comforts and sweets of life, all worldly rela- 
tions, and the love of the world, for the salvation 
of the country. If the salvation of the fatherland 
cannot be gained, then those who follow me must 
look upon death with affection as the greatest boon. 
I ask your forgiveness for reminding you of what 
high-minded self-sacrifice is demanded of those who 
will advance in the van of the forces of liberty; for, 
knowing you as I do, I do not imagine that there 
is one among you who will shirk his duty. I will 
explain to you our purpose. You know that the 
intervention of Europe in our internal affairs was 



brought about by the complaints of the Christians, 
who suffered less than did we Moslems under the 
Despotism, and that the Government has opened a 
road for this intervention by its despicableness and 
cowardice, making Turkey a by-word among the 
nations for all that is bad. Now, in this revolution 
we have to make manifest to the world in a practi- 
cal fashion that we love the Christians, as being our 
brethren under the same fatherland, that we hold 
them equal to ourselves, that we recognise the secu- 
rity of their honour as our honour, of their lives as 
our lives, of their property as our property. This 
revolt is not against individuals, but against the sys- 
tem of government, which has not only stirred up 
strife between the different creeds and races, but has 
also made us Moslems the enemies of each other. 
This is a revolt in the name of liberty, equality, 
and brotherhood. To bring justice to the people we 
will traverse the mountains until we have sacrificed 
our lives. I am sending to Monastir my wife (Niazi 
had been married but nine months and was very 
attached to his wife), and my sister with her father- 
less children, for they have none but me to take care 
of them; and there my relatives will protect them. 
I will bid an everlasting farewell to these dear ones, 
and I will shut up my house. Are there any among 
you who will follow me heart and soul?" 

Then all those present with one voice replied: 
"We look to dying with you in honour and felicity. 
We are all ready." The following Friday was fixed 
upon as the date of the rising of the people of Resna, 



and it was agreed that on that day, at the hour of 
morning prayer, the band of two hundred patriots 
should assemble near the barracks. Jemal Effendi 
was sent to Monastir to apprise the central Com- 
mittee in that town of Niazi's plan and to obtain 
permission to carry it out. Then the brethren, 
having embraced one another, with tears of joy and 
pride in their eyes, broke up the meeting, depart- 
ing in twos and threes so as not to attract the 
notice of the spies. 

Within two days Jemal returned from Monastir 
with the required permission from the central Com- 
mittee, and Niazi made all preparations for the 
fateful Friday. As he was thus engaged, an incident 
occurred which, in his opinion, to no small extent 
favoured the fortunes of his adventure. There came 
to appeal to him, with lamentations and tears, the 
sister of the famous Bulgarian revolutionary leader, 
Christe. A Servian band, which had recently killed 
a member of her family, had now carried off into 
the mountains the child of this poor woman, and 
demanded impossible ransom. Niazi swore to the 
woman that he would rescue the child for her, and 
he decided to take into the mountains with him 
the Servian schoolmaster of Resna as a hostage. 
Niazi's success in recovering the child shortly after- 
wards went a long way towards gaining the confi- 
dence of the Bulgarians and convincing them of the 
good intentions of those who served the Committee 
of Union and Progress. 

The night that preceded the going forth of the 



band was spent by Niazi in writing various mani- 
festos and letters, which it was his purpose to send 
out when he was clear of the town and out of the 
power of the agents of the Government. In a mani- 
festo which he addressed to the Chief Secretary of 
the Imperial Palace; to Hilmi Pasha, the Inspector- 
General at Salonica (the present Grand Vizier); and 
to the Vali of Monastir, he explained that the Com- 
mittee of Union and Progress represented the whole 
nation and was very powerful; that its aim was to 
obtain a just form of government, like that in civ- 
ilised countries, and to preserve the integrity of the 
Empire. He stated that, in view of the number of 
spies who had been sent by the Government to 
Salonica to destroy those who were silently work- 
ing for their country's good, the Committee had 
taken measures to protect the patriots ; that on that 
day two hundred fedais (devoted ones), armed with 
Mauser rifles, under three officers, were marching 
from Resna; that elsewhere other bands were being 
formed, representing all the elements of the popula- 
tion, and that these bands would inflict punishment 
on the traitorous spies who disgraced the army to 
which they belonged. The Committee demanded 
that the spying Pashas and their assistants should 
be at once sent back to Constantinople by special 
train. It also demanded that the Fundamental Law 
(the Constitution) should be restored immediately 
and that the Chamber of Deputies should assemble 
as soon as it was possible. If the Government refused 
to grant these requests, then the nation would obtain 



by force what it required, and the responsibility for 
the bloodshed would rest with the high dignitaries 
of the State. 

Then he wrote letters to the commander of the 
regiment of gendarmes at Monastir, to the lieutenant 
of gendarmerie at Resna, and to certain other officers 
who had sold themselves to the Palace, and solemnly 
warned them, in the name of the two hundred fedais 
of the Committee of Union and Progress, that if they 
continued to disgrace their military uniform by acting 
as spies over their comrades, and by showing them- 
selves the sycophants of the Government and the 
foreign officers, thereby betraying their fatherland 
which was agonising "like a sorely wounded lion;" 
and that if they did not at once reform their conduct 
and cease to be the active enemies of the National 
Union, death would be the punishment awarded to 
them by the Committee. Men had already discov- 
ered that the Committee never uttered idle threats, 
and the recipient of one of these letters was so terri- 
fied that he became insane. 

The momentous day (July 3, 1908) dawned, and 
Niazi Bey was up betimes to complete his prepara- 
tions. For his band to march out of Resna while 
the officers, who were not adherents of the cause, 
and the considerable garrison remained in it was, of 
course, out of the question, so he employed a ruse 
to empty the town of those who might oppose him. 
By pre-arrangement some members of the Committee 
came into Resna and reported that a Bulgarian band 
was moving up the road near Ismilova, that is, in a 



direction contrary to the one in which he intended 
to lead his own followers; and some rifles were fired 
in the hills to support the story. Thanks to this 
scheme, all the available troops were hurried off to 
attack this imaginary band, leaving but a few offi- 
cers and men to guard the barracks, which are sit- 
uated on a height overlooking the town and about 
a mile and a half distant from it. 

Niazi then walked to the barracks in his uniform, 
while the members of his band in twos and threes 
collected in the neighbourhood. He passed through 
the gates of the barracks just after the Moslem 
officials and inhabitants of Resna had entered the 
mosques for the Friday midday prayer; he made 
the appointed signal with his sword, and his fedais, 
to the number of one hundred and fifty, poured into 
the barracks, arousing no suspicion among the sol- 
diers on guard, who were led to understand that 
Major Niazi Bey was arming a party of Moslem 
civilians with the object of proceeding to the scene 
of action to co-operate with the troops. 

Following Niazi Bey's instructions, the fedais 
broke open the rifle and ammunition cases and 
armed themselves, many of the men taking two 
rifles each, so that those who joined the band later 
on might be provided with weapons. Niazi also 
opened the military chest and took all the money 
that was in it, amounting to about £500, making 
out a receipt for it in which he explained for what 
purpose he was about to use it. Then the band, in 
perfect order and full of enthusiasm, marched out of 



the barracks, and with it went nine private soldiers 
who, being still under the impression that Niazi was 
leading a detachment against the Bulgarians, had 
volunteered their services. After marching for two 
hours they came to cross-roads on the summit of a 
grassy down, where Niazi's band was joined, as had 
been arranged, by Lieutenant Osman Effendi and 
his detachment of fedais from Persepe, consisting of 
a lieutenant, four soldiers, and thirty civilians. , 

Here a halt was called for rest and food, and 
before the march was resumed Niazi called the 
men around him and addressed them, explaining 
his aims and the strict rules of discipline which 
the Committee had enjoined him to enforce. He 
reminded them that they had sworn upon the 
Unity of God to devote their lives to the salvation 
of their fatherland. "The nation expects you," he 
said, "to set a brilliant example of self-sacrifice 
and Ottoman chivalry worthy to be imitated. Are 
you prepared never to see your homes again until 
the salvation of the country has been secured, and 
willingly to die for her?" His followers cried out, 
"Yes, yes; it shall be death or salvation." Then 
Niazi proceeded, "There may be some among you 
who have not the physical strength to live the hard 
life before us, to support the long marches on foot, 
thirst, hunger, nakedness, heat, and cold. If there 
be such I give them full permission to retire; let 
them go back to their villages and pray for us." 
As there was no reply to this, he went on to speak 
of the very lofty sense of duty and the strict rules 



of conduct that should govern the fedais, who, 
having bid farewell to life, were now ready to sac- 
rifice themselves for the fatherland. Their enemies 
were many, and would certainly slander them; but 
it behooved them so to act that none could look 
askance at them with good reason. It was for them 
to exemplify by the righteousness of their lives what 
was meant by "the exaltation of the glory of Islam 
and the Ottomans, through obedience to the Sacred 
Law of Mohammed which was the basis of the Con- 
stitution." The Constitution was to bring equality 
and justice to all Ottomans without distinction of 
race and religion. They, as the apostles of the Con- 
stitution, must exemplify this equality and justice. 
It behooved them, while the band wandered over 
the country, to regard the honour of the inhabitants 
as their own honour, to be kindly in their dealings 
with them, to be guilty of no act of oppression, to 
thieve nothing, though urged by the pangs of hun- 
ger, and above all things to respect all the women 
of the country and to observe chastity. He ex- 
plained that he would punish, without exception, 
any of his followers who in the above respects was 
a wrong-doer even in the slightest degree, and that 
the one penalty that he would inflict would be that 
of death; for the safety of the fatherland neces- 
sitated this severity. He told them that he had 
taken measures to provide for their immediate 
needs. He would give each man three Turkish 
pounds for the support of his family and two silver 
medjidiehs for his tobacco, and he undertook to pro- 



cure food and clothes for them. "These are the 
stringent conditions of service," he concluded. "Do 
you approve of them? If so, swear by the Unity 
of God that you accept them from your heart and 

In reply the fedais raised an enthusiastic cry of 
"Wallahi, billahi" (in the name of God, yes!). 

Of the nine private soldiers who had marched 
from Resna under the belief that they were being 
led against the Bulgarians, four now asked permis- 
sion to return. Niazi took their arms and sent 
them back to the officer commanding the battalion 
of chasseurs at Resna, with a letter in which he ex- 
plained that the men were in no wise to blame, as 
they had been deceived by himself. Of the civilians 
who had joined the band only one displayed timidity 
at this last moment, so Niazi allowed him to return 
to his home and entrusted the man with the letters 
and manifestos which he, Niazi, had written during 
the previous night, instructing him to deliver them 
to the mudir of the district; and to the mudir he 
sent a separate letter, ordering him, with threats, 
to forward these documents to the various people 
to whom they were addressed. 

Then the bugle sounded and the little band of 
zealots marched on again through the beautiful Bal- 
kan countryside, in the glorious summer weather, to 
their unknown destiny — a band of sworn ascetics 
who harmed no men save the agents of the Despotism 
who stood in their way, and these they slew without 
pity; to all others they were as brothers, protecting 



the weak and oppressed of whatsoever race or creed, 
preaching the gospel of justice and equality. 

The bands of the racial propaganda that had 
hitherto passed through the Balkans had terrorised 
the population with murder, robbery, and the viola- 
tion of women, whereas this band gained the confi- 
dence of all and was welcomed in the villages. This 
was indeed as a company of knights-errant, but these 
were no visionaries tilting at wind-mills; the aim of 
the fedais was the overthrow of the reign of tyranny 
and corruption; Niazi's bands and the other bands 
of the Committee of Union and Progress which fol- 
lowed its example actually succeeded, as we shall 
see, not only in winning over the entire Moslem 
population of this region to the cause, but in uniting 
the various races that had been cutting each other's 
throats for years, so that the whole strength of the 
Macedonian peoples was brought together to oppose 
the Despotism. 




by telegraph of the outbreak of the insurrection. 
After a consultation of the Sultan's advisers a tele- 
gram was sent to General Shemshi Pasha, then in 
command at Mitrovitza in the northern Vilayet — 
who was, as I have explained in a former chapter, a 
trusted officer, than whom none had greater experi- 
ence in crushing revolt in Macedonia and Albania 
— recounting to him what had occurred, and order- 
ing him with the least possible delay to move the 
necessary troops from Mitrovitza to Monastir, and 
to raise volunteers from among the people, "so as to 
surround and seize the ungrateful traitor, Niazi, 
together with the officers, officials, private soldiers, 
and civilians who are his companions." The Gen- 
eral was further informed that his Majesty expected 
him to prove his fidelity and loyalty by making 
these wicked men a telling example to other sedi- 
tious persons, and relied upon him to cleanse that 
portion of the Empire of this mischief and to pre- 
vent its spread by measures of the severest nature. 

THIN a few hours of the departure of 
Niazi Bey and his band from Resna, the 
officials of the Yildiz had been informed 



The ill-fated Shemshi displayed his loyalty and 
zeal by working night and day to compass the 
destruction of Niazi and his band of fcdais. On 
July 6 he arrived with two battalions at Monastir by 
special train; another battalion was closely follow- 
ing, and seven other battalions were marching into 
the disturbed districts. The usual trickery of which 
the creatures of the Palace were so fond was also 
employed to support the operations of the troops. 
Thus, in order to excite Moslem fanaticism and per- 
suade men to serve as volunteers, it was assiduously 
rumoured that the Christians were rising to mas- 
sacre the Mussulmans, a falsehood that produced 
but little effect; while delegates were sent through 
the villages to tell the people that the Constitution 
desired by the Committee of Union and Progress, 
and advocated by the bands under Niazi and 
others, was opposed to the religion of Islam, "its 
doctrines being as vile as that which permits 
women to go about unveiled." The Palace also 
arranged with the local officials that attempts should 
be made to corrupt the members of Niazi 's band, 
rank and money being offered to any of these who 
would kill him. 

In the telegrams in which he reported progress to 
the Palace, Shemshi stated that he was unable to 
obtain any reliable information concerning the rebels 
from either the military authorities or the Vali, and 
that no one could tell him where the Committee of 
Union and Progress was, or the names of its members. 
All that his spies had been able to discover was that 



the heads of the people in those parts were full of 
seditious ideas and that many men of importance 
were on the Committee; the movement was evidently 
spreading, and Staff -Major Enver Bey had aban- 
doned his uniform and gone off to join the sedi- 
tious Committee. Nevertheless he, Shemshi Pasha, 
assured his Majesty the Caliph that he would exert 
himself until he breathed his last breath (words the lit- 
eral truth of which were soon to be proved) to root up 
this seditious growth. He, moreover, reported that 
he had sent messages to the Albanian notables, and 
that thousands of brave Albanians were prepared, in 
answer to his call, to pour into the disaffected dis- 
tricts and punish these people who were unfaithful 
to their religion and traitors to their sovereign. He 
also announced that two battalions would at once 
march in the direction of Resna, and that he was 
confident of his speedy success in stifling the con- 

His confidence was misplaced, for of the Albanian 
chiefs upon whose help he relied the greater number 
had become adherents of the Committee of Union 
and Progress, while all the officers and non-commis- 
sioned officers of one of the two battalions which he 
was sending to surround Niazi had sworn the oath 
of fidelity to the Committee. But Shemshi had his 
doubts; for he confessed to the notables of Monastir 
that the Rumelian troops which he had brought with 
him were not of much account, and that he was 
anxiously awaiting the arrival of an entire division of 
Anatolian troops which the Government was sending 



to him from Asia Minor. Shemshi's own brother- 
in-law, an officer of gendarmerie in Monastir, and a 
member of the Committee, while unable, of course, 
to take him into his confidence, attempted to prevent 
a useless shedding of Moslem blood and to save the 
General's own life, by warning him that the troops of 
Resna and its neighbourhood would refuse to obey 
his orders if they were called upon to fire on Niazi's 
band. In the meanwhile the Committee of Union 
and Progress had full knowledge of all the plans of 
the Government; for telegraph clerks and other offi- 
cials who were secret adherents of the cause were 
able to betray the communications that passed be- 
tween the Yildiz and the military authorities in 

The Committee was actively employed in frustrat- 
ing the plans of the Government. In order to 
counteract the influence of the false reports that 
had been circulated by the agents of the Despotism 
it placarded the walls of Monastir with manifestos 
on the night before Shemshi's arrival. These mani- 
festos explained that the aim of the Committee was 
to free Turkey from her traitorous Government 
which had been corrupting the nation for thirty 
years and was now betraying her to foreigners. It 
called for the immediate removal of the spies who 
had been sent recently from Constantinople, and 
protested against the illegal carrying off of the peo- 
ple denounced by the spies, to the Inquisitions of 
the Yildiz and the Central Police in the capital. 

The Committee also organised numerous bands 



in various parts of the country so as to confuse the 
Government, divide its forces, and prevent a concen- 
trated attack on Niazi. It kept up constant com- 
munication with Niazi, keeping him well informed 
of the movements of his enemies. The Committee 
enjoined him to avoid coming into contact with the 
troops that had been sent against him, but if this 
became impossible, to force on a decisive action that 
would do the Government great damage. As the 
object of the Committee was to unite all the different 
elements of the Ottoman population, a civil war, at 
this juncture, especially if it took the form of a con- 
flict between the Moslem soldiery and the Moslem 
peasantry, would obviously be a deplorable calamity. 
But there was to be no sparing of the Government 
spies ; and the Committee gave orders that the Palace 
agents, who were wandering through the villages 
gaining information and poisoning the minds of the 
people against the Constitution, should be put to 

And now to return to Niazi Bey and his wander- 
ings. After his halt on the afternoon of his depart- 
ure at the cross-roads, where his band, reinforced by 
Osman Effendi's contingent of fedais from Persepe, 
had attained the strength which he considered to 
be the most suitable for his purpose, the march 
was continued to the Moslem village of Labcha, to 
most of whose inhabitants he and his followers were 
well known. The fedais entered the village shout- 
ing Allahu Akber, "God is very great," and La ilaha 
illallah, "there is no God but God!" Then Niazi, 



through the Elective Council of the village, called in 
all the peasants who were working in the fields and 
addressed them. Here the ground had been well 
prepared. There were none among the inhabitants 
who did not desire the restoration of the Constitution. 
They fell upon the necks of Niazi and his men and 
embraced them, rejoicing to see that these saviours 
of the country were now openly working for the 

Here one of the elders of the village, an ex-sergeant 
of the army, begged to be allowed to join the band. 
"Do not deprive me of this happiness," he said; "for 
even if we fail, true martyrdom can be gained on this 
expedition." But Niazi replied, "My heart wants 
you with me, but you must stay here, for this village 
needs your presence. I intend to make Labcha my 
principal base and our place of refuge, so here you 
can help the cause more than by following me." 
The sergeant therefore remained in Labcha, where 
his zeal, fidelity, and mother wit were of great ser- 
vice. An incident which occurred in this village 
some time later throws a curious light on the sys- 
tem of self-government which was introduced by the 
Committee of Union and Progress into the villages 
that had accepted the Committee as their virtual 
ruler. The sister of the above-mentioned sergeant 
had told her husband, a man of Resna, what she 
knew concerning the oath which the representatives 
of the Committee had administered to certain lead- 
ing inhabitants of Labcha; and this foolish fellow 
had gone about boasting that he was in possession 



of the secret, mentioning the names of initiates. 
The sergeant, on hearing this, summoned the vil- 
lagers to a meeting at which it was decided that, as 
a punishment for both these babblers, the man 
should immediately divorce his wife. The husband 
and wife came before this irregular tribunal, whose 
orders had to be obeyed more implicitly than those 
of the law courts of the State, and on begging for 
forgiveness obtained the revocation of the sentence 
that would have separated them. This event led 
to the creation of a female police or vigilance com- 
mittee in this and some other villages, whose chief 
duty it apparently was to check indiscreet gossip 
concerning the Committee. 

As in Labcha and the surrounding villages all the 
men were strong partisans of the Committee, there 
was no more work to be done here for Niazi's 
band, and therefore, after purchasing provisions 
and refreshing themselves, the fedais set out again 
to march through the night. 

In the following afternoon they came to the neigh- 
bourhood of the Albanian town of Ochrida, where 
there were many Palace spies and a considerable 
garrison, so that it was not possible for the band 
to enter it; but there was also here an important 
branch of the Committee of Union and Progress, and 
a large proportion of the inhabitants were at heart 
adherents of the cause. So Niazi, leaving his band 
encamped in a cherry orchard in the hills, walked into 
the town under cover of the night. Major Eyoub 
Effendi and other members of the Committee, who 



were old friends of his, had a meeting with him at 
the house of one of the faithful, and welcomed him 
heartily. They told him that two detachments of 
troops had left Resna to surround his band. They 
sent up to his camp leather water bottles and other 
necessaries of which his men were in want, and gave 
him great encouragement. Here he took the oppor- 
tunity of sending a manifesto to the Albanian Com- 
mittee, as it turned out later, with excellent result, 
for Niazi, whose birthplace was near the Albanian 
border, and who was himself of Albanian stock, had 
many friends among the Albanians, and was much 
respected by them. He also wrote a letter to his old 
foe Cherchis, the famous leader of Bulgarian bands. 
In this letter he explained his aim to Cherchis, and 
told him that he, Niazi, who had formerly pursued 
Cherchis' band with such vigour, now extended to 
him the hand of friendship, and asked for an inter- 
view under any conditions that Cherchis might pro- 
pose, in order that they might devise a scheme for 
concerted action against the Government, and he 
reminded him of the proverb which says, "the sheep 
who leaves the flock is torn by the wolf." Niazi's 
friends took him back to his camp by back lanes 
and paths, and the band, leaving this dangerous 
neighbourhood, made another long night march to 
the north, its objective being Dibra on the Black 
Drin, the centre of a district in which Niazi knew 
that he would find many adherents, and where the 
forests and rugged mountains afforded safe retreats 
and easily defensible positions. 



And now Niazi's work of preparing a general 
insurrection commenced in earnest. The story of his 
wanderings cannot be fully told here, but I will give 
some explanation of the methods he employed. It 
was his intention, in the first place, to carry on his 
operations in the Moslem villages and afterwards to 
bring in the other elements of the population. He 
worked with the greatest energy, often visiting and 
organising several villages in the same day. It was 
his custom to send a small advanced party of his 
followers under an officer to reassure the people, 
and, this done, he would enter the village with the 
rest of the band. In all save a very few Moslem 
villages thus visited the fedais were received with 
extraordinary enthusiasm, and Niazi's task of making 
the inhabitants sworn adherents of the Committee 
was not difficult. He would call a meeting of the 
villagers, or, having attended prayers in the mosque 
with his band, he would there, after the prayers 
were over, address those present with stirring 
words, explaining to them the lofty aims of the 
movement whose soldier he now was. The leading 
men would be called up one by one to take the oath 
prescribed by the Committee of Union and Progress, 
and afterwards the other inhabitants would come 
up eagerly to be sworn in. Among those who thus 
became adherents of the Committee were many 
deserters from the army who had been hiding among 
their families. 

Niazi used to impress it upon these newly made 
members that, as they were now united as brethren 



to serve the same high purpose, they must put away 
all differences among themselves, and forgive each 
other for wrongs inflicted. The cause demanded that 
their blood feuds should cease. Throughout this 
region, and especially in some of the Albanian dis- 
tricts, relentless blood feuds between families and 
individuals are very frequent, and to be murdered 
in a vendetta is regarded as the natural ending to 
a man's life. But now was beheld the astonish- 
ing spectacle of a general reconciliation. Men whose 
families had been slaughtering each other for gener- 
ations, embraced publicly, united by devotion to a 
common cause; and old men who had not dared 
to go outside their houses for years, because some 
ancient crime was yet unavenged, once more went 
forth freely and without fear. 

The villagers, in the sincerity of their welcome to 
Niazi's fedais, whom they regarded as the saviours 
of Turkey, often refused to accept payment for 
the food and other necessaries which they freely and 
gladly supplied to the band; but Niazi, when he did 
not pay in cash for these supplies, insisted on giving 
receipts for their value, and instructed the villagers 
to show their receipts to the authorities and deduct 
the amounts from the taxes which they paid to the 
Government. At the same time he used to send 
manifestos to the local mudirs and other officials 
warning them that death would be the penalty for 
the tax collector who refused to accept these receipts 
as part payment of taxes. 

A village, after its inhabitants had been sworn 



in, was "organised" according to certain rules laid 
down by the Committee, and became a well-ordered 
centre of revolt. In the first place the authority of 
the Government and its officials was disclaimed, and 
tyrannical oppression was prevented by the united 
opposition of a population that had become as a 
band of brothers. A local form of government on 
constitutional lines was set up. The sources of the 
Government revenue were appropriated whenever it 
was possible to do this, and in some districts the 
villages refused to pay any taxes to the Government, 
offering a passive resistance that would have taken an 
active shape had the tax collectors ventured to push 
the matter. 

For the purpose of mutual protection, relations 
were established between the various villages of a 
district; and a certain number of the inhabitants were 
secretly organised as a sort of militia. Niazi found 
that from one hundred to two hundred and fifty 
rifles were concealed in each village of the Dibra and 
other neighbouring districts, so arms were not want- 
ing. These villages had suffered greatly from the 
raids of the Bulgarian bands, but from this time the 
organisation introduced by Niazi enabled them not 
only to hold their own against the largest bands, but 
to defy the attempts of the Government to coerce 
them. This general preparation for defence brought 
a peace to this region such as it had not known for 
years, and the Moslems themselves, obeying the 
orders of the Committee, refrained from any aggres- 
sive actions; all the Moslem bands that were in the 



hills were dissolved, the men who composed them 
returning to their villages. Niazi made it clear to 
all adherents of the Committee that it was above 
all things necessary for the success of the cause 
that the Moslems should carefully avoid any con- 
flict, whether with Christian bands or Government 
troops, and that they should act strictly on the de- 
fensive until the Committee gave the word for the 
general insurrection. 

Niazi thus succeeded, whithersoever he wandered 
over the Balkans, in winning over the Mussulman 
land-owners and peasantry, and many of the Gov- 
ernment officials, to the revolutionary cause; and, in 
the meanwhile, by manifestos and letters he sought 
to gain the confidence and support of the Bulga- 
rian element in the population. Notwithstanding 
the never-ceasing warfare between them in Mace- 
donia, the Turks and the brave and manly Bulga- 
rians were more in touch with each other than with 
any of the other races in the Balkan Peninsula. 
The Turks had often protected and were soon 
again to protect the Bulgarian exarchists against 
the fanatical persecutions of the Greeks. It was, 
therefore, natural that Niazi should seek the co- 
operation of the Bulgarians before approaching the 
other Christian peoples of European Turkey. 

There are many Bulgarian villages scattered over 
the region in which Niazi was at work, and their 
inhabitants at first regarded with some anxiety the 
change that had come over the Moslem population, 
which for several years had appeared listless and 



devoid of hope, not having the separatist aspirations 
which buoyed up the spirits of the Christians, but 
now had suddenly become cheerful and alert, as if 
looking forward to some great and happy change. 
Suspicious at first, the Bulgarians at last came to 
realise that whatever sentiment was stirring the 
Moslems, it had nothing to do with anti-Christian 
feeling, and was not antagonistic to themselves. 

On July 6 Niazi issued his important manifesto 
to the Bulgarians. He proclaimed to them that the 
time had come to strike a blow at the evils that 
had been destroying the fatherland for years, for 
the Despotism was ever becoming more intolerable. 
He put all the blame on the Government; but 
pointed out that the Christian Ottomans had taken 
a wrong road, while seeking a better state of things. 
They had heeded the false advice of the surrounding 
small states, Bulgaria, Servia, and Greece, which had 
promised to free Macedonia, but were really work- 
ing for their own ends, their one aim being to seize 
the country and enslave its people. "These little 
Powers have sown hatred and dissension among us, 
and have deluged the fatherland with blood." He 
assured them that "if these little Powers should 
work on thus for another thirty years they would 
not attain their purpose. The fatherland is, and 
ever shall be, ours." He then went on to explain 
that the Ottoman Committee of Union and Progress, 
consisting of army officers, civil officials, townsmen, 
and peasants, all honourable men, had been formed 
with the object of establishing a system of govern- 



ment that would give liberty and justice, without 
distinction of creed or race, to all Ottomans, so that 
they might live in peace and happiness in their com- 
mon fatherland. Then he spoke of his band of armed 
fedais, whose mission it was to propagate these prin- 
ciples in the towns and villages, and to bring about 
the co-operation of all elements of the population in 
putting a stop to the internal dissensions and civil 
warfare that were hastening the Empire to its ruin. 
He called upon the leaders to dissolve these mischiev- 
ous bands, to join his own band, and work for Otto- 
man liberty and justice, instead of for Bulgaria and 
the other little Powers. Severe punishment would 
be dealt out to such bands as did not come in, and 
if any village gave encouragement to the bands after 
this warning, its head man would be executed. They 
were all Ottomans, and they must all co-operate to 
establish the Constitution which gave equality and lib- 
erty, and protected each creed and race and language. 

This manifesto produced a wonderful effect. The 
Bulgarian inhabitants knew that Niazi Bey was not 
speaking idle words, and threatening to do things 
that he could not carry out. They realised that if 
it came to civil war the Committee of Union and 
Progress would have practically the entire Moslem 
population of Macedonia and Albania on its side. 
Moreover, they knew enough of Niazi to feel that 
he was quite sincere in his declarations and prom- 
ises, and many of them had observed with amazed 
admiration the just and honourable conduct of his 
band of fedais. Here was the Turkish officer who, 



for five years, had been vigorously hunting down the 
Bulgarian bands, now speaking to them as fellow- 
countrymen and brethren! Hitherto, they argued, 
they had paid heavy taxes to a Government that 
had given no account of how the money was spent, 
and treated them as dogs; but now a new rule was 
asserting itself, under which they began to see justice 
and the prospect of being treated as human beings. 

So within a few days of the issue of his manifesto, 
Niazi received intelligence to the effect that the Bul- 
garians of Resna, Ochrida, Persepe, and other dis- 
tricts had held meetings at which it had been decided 
that "it would be an honour to serve with their lives 
and property this band which had such high aims." 
Cherchis himself, too, with his comrades, desired 
to effect a union with the Committee of Union and 

On July 9 Niazi, thinking that the time was ripe, 
for the first time brought his band into a purely 
Bulgarian village. This was the large village of 
Velijon, containing three hundred and fifty houses. 
It is situated on a hillside, with a great forest behind 
it sloping up steeply to the wild and lofty ridges of 
the Balkan Range, and for its strategic advantages 
it had been selected as one of the most important 
supply bases for the Bulgarian bands. As Niazi's 
vanguard entered the village the inhabitants took 
alarm, closed their shops, and shut themselves up 
within their houses; but after Niazi, coming in with 
the rest of his band, had summoned the Elective 
Council, and explained matters, the fears of the vil- 



lagers disappeared; and friendly relations were soon 
established by the kindly and courteous officers and 
Moslem notables who composed the bulk of this 
remarkable band. The end of it was that the priest, 
the Elective Council, and all the other inhabitants of 
the village placed their hands upon the Holy Gospels 
and took the oath of fidelity to the Committee, un- 
dertaking to carry out all its orders and render armed 
assistance to the cause when called upon to do so. 
When the band marched out of the village in the cool 
of the evening the friendly Christians accompanied 
the fedais for some distance to put them on their 
way and then bade them God speed. Shortly after 
this Niazi was enabled to amnesty and arrange for 
the coming in of the bands that were in the hills 
round Dibra, which place was made an important 
centre of the insurrectionary movement. 

It was about this time that Niazi received a letter 
from the Monastir Centre of the Committee which 
gave him great encouragement. It thanked him and 
"the heroic self-sacrificing men of Resna" for the 
splendid work they were doing, and informed Niazi 
that his friend, Major Enver Bey, the clever staff 
officer who had performed distinguished service in 
Macedonia, had thrown up his commission, and at 
the head of a band of fedais was actively preparing the 
population in the Tikosh district, while other officers 
had also organised bands, and taken to the mountains. 
The fortunes of the cause appeared very bright. 

He also learnt from this letter that General Shem- 
shi Pasha had been publicly assassinated in Monastir 



on July 7. The General, after reporting progress 
to the Palace, had left the telegraph office and was 
driving in his carriage to join the two battalions 
with which it was his intention to surround Niazi's 
band, when he was shot dead by an officer in uniform. 
Fifteen hundred people were surrounding the car- 
riage at the time, but not one attempted to, or had 
any wish to arrest this executioner of the Com- 
mittee's will, who strolled quietly off. The ill-fated 
Shemshi was an energetic commander, and had he 
lived there would undoubtedly have been some severe 
righting between such troops as would have remained 
loyal to him and the Committee's bands. Shemshi 
would probably have led his troops to disaster, for 
his boldness and confidence in himself amounted to 
rashness, and he despised his enemy. Ambushes 
had been prepared for him on the roads by which he 
would have had to march; and Niazi, operating in a 
difficult mountain country, with an armed population 
skilled in guerilla war to stand by him, was now in 
a position to hold his own for an indefinite time 
against any forces that the Government could send 
against him. There can be little doubt that the 
death of Shemshi prevented a civil war that would 
have done much injury to the cause of the Com- 
mittee, for it would have divided public opinion, the 
unanimity of which it was of such importance to 
secure. From the date of Shemshi's death the im- 
potence of the Government and the disorganisation 
of the army made it difficult for the Palace to plunge 
the country into the horrors of internecine conflict. 




THE preparations for the general rising now 
advanced very rapidly. Enver Bey, declining 
further treacherous offers, which included 
the promise of his promotion to General rank if he 
would return to Constantinople, led his band of 
fedais through the mountains, and won village after 
village to the revolutionary cause. The story of this 
young officer's escape in disguise from Salonica, his 
adventures in the wilds, and the brave work he did 
for Turkey, is told throughout his country. He has 
become the popular hero, and is held in the high- 
est estimation by his comrades ; for the complete ab- 
sence of any jealousy among the young officers who 
devoted themselves to the liberation of their father- 
land is a pleasing feature of this patriotic move- 
ment. Niazi writes of Enver as follows: "He who 
in the time of sorrow and hopelessness encouraged 
and fortified us with his ardent words and serious 
ways, Enver Bey, whose like is seldom to be met." 
Salah-ed-Din Bey, Hassan Bey, and other officers 
were also wandering over Macedonia and Albania 
with their bands, gaining thousands of adherents 
among the land-owners and the peasantry; and at 



the same time others were educating the rank and 
file of the army, with the result that a large propor- 
tion of the troops garrisoning this region were ready 
to fight, even against their own comrades, if called 
upon to do so. 

Niazi Bey had practically won over the bulk of 
the Moslem inhabitants of Western Albania, a won- 
derful achievement indeed. For one who knows 
these fanatical Albanian tribesmen finds it difficult 
to understand how they could listen with sympathy 
and patience to the gospel of universal brotherhood, 
and the extension of equal rights to Christian and 
Mussulman. But Niazi, with his rough, strong elo- 
quence, his obvious sincerity and single-mindedness, 
his magnetic personality, and his commanding pres- 
ence — for, like many Albanians, he is a man of great 
stature and sturdy build — is evidently a born leader 
of men; and he was successful not only in gaining 
over the Albanians, but in holding back these eager 
warriors until their armed assistance should be called 
for, and in making them patch up their sanguinary 
tribal and family blood feuds, some of which had 
endured for centuries. Moreover, a large propor- 
tion of the young officers of the Third Army Corps 
were of Albanian stock, and of these several were 
able to influence their countrymen in the Committee's 

Niazi and his band, during their memorable 
twenty days' wandering in the hill-country, avoid- 
ing the main roads and threading in single file the 
difficult mountain tracks, ran many dangers and 



suffered considerable hardships. At times the pur- 
suing Government troops were close at their heels; 
sometimes, but not often, the fedais came to a vil- 
lage whose inhabitants were hostile. Thus, on one 
occasion, when hungry, thirsty, and weary they ap- 
proached a village in order to obtain the bread and 
cheese and water which seem to have composed their 
usual diet, the villagers, whose minds had been poi- 
soned against the Committee by an emissary of the 
Palace, came out armed to the teeth, and danger- 
ously excited, and threatened to fire upon the band. 
The position was an awkward one, for Niazi not 
only had the hostile village in front of him, but had 
in his rear, and not far off, a large detachment of 
troops under a Bosnian officer, which had been sent 
to cut him off. So the band, foodless and worn out 
with fatigue, had to take to the upper slopes of the 
mountain for safety. Niazi is an obstinate man. 
He was determined either to convert that village to 
the cause or to give it a severe lesson. A few days 
later he talked the villagers over to repentance of 
their error; they took the oath of allegiance to the 
Committee, and supplied the band with two days' 
rations of bread and cheese, for which they refused 
to accept payment. Moreover, the Bosnian officer, 
on receiving the news of Shemshi Pasha's execution 
at Monastir, abandoned his pursuit of Niazi and 
marched with his band to Ochrida to submit to the 

On July 12 Niazi, having been summoned to 
Ochrida to confer with the Committee, marched 



boldly into that town with his band, none daring to 
interfere with him, so much had the authority of 
the Government been weakened by this time. Here 
the members of the Committee gave him informa- 
tion concerning the other bands, and instructed him 
to keep in touch with them, as the time was near 
when an important combined movement might be 
made. They told him that the Government had 
sent General Osman Pasha to Monastir as Com- 
mander Extraordinary of the Vilayet, in the place 
of the assassinated Shemshi Pasha, and that the 
Bulgarian Executive Committee had issued instruc- 
tions to all the Bulgarian villages to the effect that 
the Moslem revolutionary bands should be treated 
hospitably and with consideration, but that, until 
further orders, armed assistance must not be given. 
Niazi was also informed of the shooting, by order 
of the Committee, of the imam, Mustapha Effendi, 
and other dangerous agents of the Palace. 

The business completed, Niazi's band marched 
out of the town, and followed the sandy shores of 
the great lake of Ochrida, where they were warmly 
welcomed in the villages of the Bulgarian fishing- 
folk. The objective of the band was Istarova, but 
on the way they carried out their mission in the 
villages, swearing in the people, overthrowing the 
authority of the Government, establishing elective 
administrative bodies, and expelling any tax-gath- 
erers or other servants of the Government who had 
oppressed the people, or were known to be sub- 
servient to Palace influence. Threatened at one 



point by a pursuing detachment of four hundred 
men, Niazi divided his band into small parties and 
took up commanding positions on the rocky hills 
that bordered the main road. But it turned out 
that the detachment was under the command of 
Captain Ziya Bey, a young officer whose sympa- 
thies were with the revolutionaries. Ziya Bey and 
some other officers came up to Niazi's camp, offered 
to join the band so soon as their services should 
be needed, and undertook to withdraw the detach- 
ment from the neighbourhood. There was another 
detachment, too, in pursuit of the band at that 
time, but it had purposely been sent off in a wrong 

It was Niazi's intention to make Istarova, the 
centre of an important district, his head-quarters for 
a short while. His band made a triumphal progress 
through the district. The villagers were all eager 
to be sworn as adherents of the Committee. In one 
village Niazi ordered the execution of a particularly 
iniquitous tax-gatherer (who succeeded in effecting 
his escape) and the man's rams were divided among 
the members of the band, who were thus enabled 
to enjoy a luxurious meal for a change. Before 
entering Istarova, Niazi sent a letter to the principal 
Goverment official in the place, the haimakan (or 
administrator, of the Caza, or district of Istarova), 
an honourable young man who had exercised his 
authority with justice, and of whom the peasants 
in the district had spoken well to Niazi. It was a 
characteristic letter, in which Niazi, after explain- 



ing that all the inhabitants of the district, Moslem 
and Christian, had sworn to stand by the Commit- 
tee, told him that though he entertained a great 
esteem for him as a just ruler of the people, at the 
same time he, Niazi, regretted that the kaimakan 
had shown negligence in one important particular; 
for in that large district there was not a single 
school. "The calamities of this nation," he went 
on, "are mainly due to the ignorance of the peo- 
ple," and he urged him to do his best to promote 

On July 16 the band entered Istarova, where the 
men enjoyed a welcome and much-needed rest — 
the villagers supplying cigars and coffee to cheer 
them — and were able to sleep in unwonted secu- 
rity, surrounded by their friends; for in that district 
of a hundred villages, with a population of 30,000, 
all men were with the Committee of Union and 
Progress, while any troops that might have proved 
troublesome had been removed to a distance by 
arrangement with friendly officers. As for Niazi, he 
saw to the swearing in of the people of Istarova, and 
the election of the administrative body, and then 
he preached the gospel of the Constitution in the 
Mosque, and recommended the newly appointed 
administrative body to build schools, to educate the 
people, and to repair their mosques, and for this 
purpose, on behalf of his band, he subscribed the 
sum of two pounds. The kaimakan himself sought 
out Niazi in the night, and praised him to his face 
as a brave man and a bringer of justice to the 



people, declared his belief in the righteousness of the 
Committee's aim, and placed himself under Niazi's 
orders. Thus did Niazi influence all the men with 
whom he came into contact. 

Throughout the following day Niazi remained in 
Istarova, which presented a very animated appear- 
ance, for there poured into the village thousands 
of peasants from all the surrounding countryside, 
eager to be sworn, together with a number of sol- 
diers who had deserted to join Niazi, and had come 
in, bringing their rifles with them, from the neigh- 
bouring garrisons and posts. There was good 
reason for Niazi's exultation in the success of the 
movement. Resna, Ochrida, Persepe, Dibra, Malisa, 
and now Istarova had all been brought within the 
revolutionary union by the efforts of the bands. 
He now knew that with a word, when the time 
came, he would be able to summon a large armed 
force to execute the Committee's will. 

And now to leave the mountains and the bands of 
brave fedais for a while, to return to the less whole- 
some atmosphere of the Yildiz Palace, and follow 
the last vain efforts of the Despotism to crush the life 
out of the revolutionary movement. The advisers 
of the Sultan were fully aware of the significance 
of the reports that came to them from Macedonia, 
though the newspapers, officially inspired, still spoke 
lightly of "unimportant manifestations of disaffec- 
tion in a few garrisons." There were high Govern- 
ment officials in the European Vilayets who ventured 
to inform the Palace of the exact state of affairs. 



Notable among these was the Vali of Monastir, 
who in the following despatch to the Grand Vizier 
(dated, I think, July 17) pointed out, as plainly as 
he dared, that the revolutionary movement was too 
strong for the Despotism, that further repressive 
measures must fail, and could only result in useless 
bloodshed, and that it would be well to submit to the 
will of the people and grant a Constitution. The 
last suggestion was, of course, put in an ambigu- 
ous way, for at that time no one had the courage 
to mention the word Constitution to the Sultan. 
The following is a translation — some repetitions 
and unimportant details being omitted — of the 
despatch in question. 

"It has been ordered by an Imperial Irade that 
Niazi Bey and his companions should be arrested. 
The existence of the powerful Committee of Union 
and Progress has been proved by the severity of the 
measures which it adopts. It stands not alone; for, 
as has already been intimated in official despatches, 
the officers of the army are united in a determina- 
tion to support the demands of the Committee; and 
the population, likewise, is in league with the Com- 
mittee. To leave aside the question of the pursuit 
of Niazi, I beg to state that none will now venture 
to undertake the duty of making investigations. 
The members of the commission which was formed 
under the presidency of Shukri Pasha to institute 
inquiries (the spy commission) have been obliged to 
abandon their work in consequence of the secret 



threats which were conveyed to them. The ulema 
who were sent by the Government to travel through 
the country and give advice to the villagers have 
been warned by the Committee of Union and Prog- 
ress that they would be killed if they continued to 
do this, so they have returned. The lives of all 
officials, my own included, are in peril. It has been 
shown that the Committee has the power of exe- 
cuting its threats. Here, in Monastir, when Gen- 
eral Osman Hidayet Pasha had gathered his officers 
around him to read to them the telegram which 
communicated the high Irade of his Imperial Maj- 
esty the Caliph, he was shot by one of the officers, 
who fired three times at him in the presence of all 
these people, and yet this officer was not arrested, 
and it has been found impossible even to ascertain 
his name. The police and judiciary officials are 
meditating resignation from their posts in order to 
save their lives if pressure is brought upon them to 
make them carry out their duties. As for me, your 
servant, my ancestry having been faithful for four 
hundred years, and myself having served the Gov- 
ernment in various capacities for the last forty-four 
years, I consider that for me to resign my post in 
this hour of trouble would be an act of ingratitude; 
and therefore, despite the perils to which I and 
my family are exposed, I am prepared to discharge 
my duty, that is, to devise means preventing the 
active co-operation of the people with the officers of 
the army, whose views and aims they undoubtedly 



"At the same time I consider it a duty and a 
proof of my loyalty that I should submit to you 
in detail the true facts of the situation. I must 
inform you that the sentiments of which I am 
speaking are now acquiring a strong hold upon the 
private soldiers. The six battalions which were 
sent to Resna now remain there inactive, and their 
commanders confess their powerlessness. Should any 
attempt be made to pursue Niazi, the soldiers will re- 
fuse to fire upon him and his band. I may mention 
in proof of this that when General Shemshi Pasha 
was assassinated here, the men of his Albanian 
body-guard, the gendarmes, and the other soldiers 
present, when pursuing the criminal in accordance 
with the orders given to them, discharged their 
rifles in the air and allowed the assassin to escape. 
According to private information which I have re- 
ceived it is believed that the troops who are to be 
despatched from Anatolia will, on their arrival here, 
refuse to use their arms against their comrades. 
What I have stated concerning the condition of this 
region is applicable also, so I am informed, to the 
Vilayets of Salonica and Kosovo. 

"The urgency of this matter and the fact that 
this movement is daily gaining strength and spread- 
ing with extraordinary rapidity being taken into con- 
sideration by the Government, I submit, prompted 
by my loyalty, that the time for either measures of 
persuasion or those of force and severity have 
passed, and that, in order to obviate a still worse 
state of things, other more effective measures, more 



consonant with the times, should be adopted. I am 
awaiting your commands." 

The plan of the Palace was to crush the revolt 
with a great force of troops from Anatolia; but as 
straightforward methods by themselves never suf- 
ficed the Sultan's advisers, underground devices were 
also employed. The Greek element in Macedonia 
on previous occasions had been found willing to join 
hands with the Turkish Government in the suppres- 
sion of Bulgarian rebellions, so Munir Pasha, who 
had for some years been the Turkish Ambassador in 
Paris, was now sent to Athens to arrange for the 
organisation of Greek bands to attack the Moslem 
and Christian supporters of the Committee of Union 
and Progress. The Palace also attempted, by offers 
of full pardons, gifts, and promotions, to withdraw 
army officers from the revolutionary movement, and 
so leave the disorganised followers of the Committee 
of Union and Progress an easy prey for the forces 
that were to be brought against them. The thirty- 
eight young officers who had been arrested in Salo- 
nica and were imprisoned in the capital were released 
and pardoned. Thousands of officers in the army 
and navy were astonished to find themselves sud- 
denly promoted, and decorations were distributed 
wholesale. The Palace entertained the foolish belief 
that every man has his price; but all this hypocriti- 
cal benevolence was of no avail and only served to 
lay bare to the world the incompetence and panic of 
the Camarilla in the hour of danger. 



It was decided to despatch no less than forty- 
eight battalions from Anatolia to overpower the dis- 
affected Macedonian army, and had these Asiatic 
troops proved staunch there would have been a 
terrible shedding of blood. Twenty-seven of these 
battalions were transported by sea from Smyrna to 
Salonica, where they disembarked on July 16. The 
efforts of Dr. Nazim Bey and other agents of the 
Young Turk party had already, to a large extent, 
inoculated these troops with the revolutionary doc- 
trines before they left Asia Minor, and from the 
moment of their embarkation at Smyrna the emis- 
saries of the Committee were at work among them, 
testing the officers to find out who were of the revo- 
lutionary party and using persuasive arguments with 
the rank and file. Some of the regiments on reach- 
ing Salonica refused to proceed to Monastir and were 
isolated from the rest. The remaining regiments 
were marched to Monastir, and with them went 
officers who were initiates of the secret society, dis- 
guised as sherbet sellers, mollahs, and so forth, ever 
winning over adherents to the cause. It soon be- 
came clear that the bulk of the officers and men of 
this force were in sympathy with the troops whom 
they had been sent to slaughter, and that they would 
never fire upon their comrades of the Third Army 
Corps. These battalions that entered Monastir 
were soon persuaded to take the oath of allegiance 
to the Committee of Union and Progress. 

The state of affairs in the third week in July may 
therefore be summed up as follows: The Govern- 



ment still nominally ruled and administered the 
three Vilayets of Monastir, Salonica, and Kosovo, 
but its authority had been reduced to impotence. 
In the chief military centre, Monastir, General 
Osman Pasha was in command, but, knowing the 
temper of his men, hesitated to attempt decisive 
action to crush the insurrection. The men of the 
Second and Third Army Corps, and of the regiments 
that had been brought from Anatolia, were either 
adherents of the Committee or wavering in their 
allegiance to the Government. It was unlikely that 
more than a small proportion of the troops would 
be found willing to fight the battles of the Palace. 
The Moslem and Bulgarian peasants, among whom 
arms had been distributed by the Committee of 
Union and Progress, were awaiting the word to take 
part in the general rising. Ten thousand Albanian 
warriors were in arms, eager to fall upon the sup- 
porters of the Despotism. 

The one doubtful element of the population was 
the Greek. It appears that the Palace had not only 
sent Munir Pasha to Athens to seek the assistance 
of those intriguing subjects of King George who used 
to equip the brigand bands that had been the curse 
of Macedonia; but it also issued instructions to Gen- 
eral Osman Pasha in Monastir to persuade the Greek 
bands within his district, by means of what bribes 
or promises I cannot say, to hunt down and cap- 
ture Niazi and the other leaders of the insurrection. 
It is undoubtedly the fact that the Greek bands, 
assisted by hired Mussulman desperadoes, were dis- 



playing great activity at this period, and that the 
Greek clergy were directing a vigorous persecution of 
the Bulgarian exarchists. The Committee of Union 
and Progress dealt firmly with this one disturbing 
element in an otherwise peaceful and united country. 
For example, the Committee carried away the Greek 
Bishop of Vodena as a hostage and let it be known 
that he would be put to death in three days unless 
by that time all the bands in that neighbourhood 
had been broken up. 

On July 22, by which time, as I shall show, the 
young Turk leaders had come boldly into the open 
to demand from the Sultan his abdication or a Con- 
stitution, the Committee of Union and Progress in 
Monastir issued a manifesto, of which copies were 
sent to the Greek Committee in Athens, the spirit- 
ual head of the Greek community in Monastir, 
and to the chiefs of the various Greek bands in the 

This manifesto, after stating that "the Yildiz, 
in opposition to the will of the people, had attempted 
to bring about a diversion against the Young Turk 
movement by effecting a union between the Hellenes 
and the Patriarchate, and with that object had sent 
Munir Pasha to stir up feeling in Greece against the 
Committee, and that this scheme had been attended 
with some success," proceeded as follows: "You 
know that our Committee of Union and Progress, 
having worked in secret for the welfare of all races 
and creeds in Turkey, has now come forth to openly 
proclaim its aim — the winning of liberty for the 



nation. The tyrannical Government has sown the 
seeds of sedition and has brought about conflicts 
and bloodshed between the various races and creeds 
in the land. We being all brothers, working together 
for the salvation and happiness of the country, ask 
of you, our Greek fellow-countrymen, that you no 
longer use differences of race and creed as an excuse 
for the shedding of blood. If your real object is to 
obtain equality, well-being, and liberty, be with us 
and seek no outside advice; be even as our Bulgarian 
brothers, who by their sincerity and by their deeds 
have proved their sympathy for our high aims. If 
you will not unite with us, we ask of you at least to 
remain neutral, and we call upon you in the name of 
humanity to cease this shedding of blood. We warn 
you against the dangers of Hellenism. If you Greeks 
in the Monastir Vilayet do not put a stop to your 
Hellenic agitation, your brother Greeks in Anato- 
lia, who are much more numerous than yourselves, 
will suffer as well as yourselves. Secret negotiations 
between the Yildiz and the Patriarchate will lead, 
not to your happiness, but to your injury and de- 
struction. We advise our Greek brothers not to 
be deceived by these shameless artifices which the 
Yildiz has oftentimes practised. We ask that the 
Greek bands should no longer go hither and thither 
shedding blood in their mistaken racial and religious 
zeal. Let the Hellenes among them return to their 
homes in Greece. Let them scatter. It is also intol- 
erable to us that these bands have low Moslems in 
their pay who commit atrocities. We will find out 



and kill these Moslems if they do not at once aban- 
don the Greek bands. We call upon you to have 
these Moslems sent away, else with you will be the 
responsibility for the blood that will be shed, and 
you will be condemned by the civilised world. With 
much affection we invite our Greek compatriots to 
unite with us in striving for our main objects — the 
restoration of our Constitution and the gaining of 
equality for all. We cannot doubt that God, who 
has created us all, will grant success to those only 
who work for humanity and civilisation." 




AND now the hour was drawing near when 
Niazi was to be called upon to do the deed 
that would bring the insurrection to a head 
and send the Despotism tumbling down like a house 
of cards. Leaving Istarova on July 17, Niazi 
and his band of fcdais set out for Resna. After a 
fatiguing march across the mountains (in the course 
of which the provisional administration was intro- 
duced into several friendly Moslem and Christian vil- 
lages, and some detours had to be made in order to 
avoid collision with a battalion of chasseurs, whose 
officers and men, being strangers to the country and 
not members of the Committee, were likely to be 
dangerous) the band entered Labcha, the first village, 
it will be remembered, that Niazi had visited and 
organised on the day of his setting out from Resna. 
Here, as in Istarova, the fedais were among staunch 
friends and were enabled to sleep in security; there 
was no necessity for sending out patrols or for posting 
sentries, for these duties were performed by the 
villagers themselves, who were proud to guard the 
saviours of the nation as they rested. The vil- 
lage was also protected by a detachment of troops 
which, like many another little garrison in the three 



Vilayets, had mutinied, its officers and men becoming 
the sworn associates of the Committee. 

On the following day, July 19, there was a great 
gathering of people in Labcha, wild hillmen, shep- 
herds, deserters from the army, and others, who had 
come in to see Niazi and his band and to declare their 
readiness to take up arms for the Committee. Niazi 
addressed the people, told them how successful had 
been the mission of his own and of the other bands, 
and assured them that the sand had all but run out 
of the glass, and the day was very near when the 
Despotism would fall and liberty prevail. That glad 
day was indeed nearer than Niazi himself imagined; 
for that very evening there came a messenger into 
the village with a letter for Niazi from the Ochrida 
Centre of the Committee of Union and Progress. 
In this letter the Committee informed him that very 
important and grave intelligence had been received 
from Monastir, and ordered him to set out at once 
for Ochrida. He was to leave his band outside that 
town and come in alone to confer with the Committee 
and receive his instructions. 

So soon as Niazi had read this letter he collected 
his men and made a forced march throughout the 
night, for all were eager to learn the nature of the 
duty which they were to be called upon to perform. 
Before dawn — July 20 — the outskirts of Ochrida 
were reached, and Niazi, leaving his band, entered 
the town and went to the house of his brother, where 
the members of the Committee came to meet him. 
It was then explained to him that he and Eyoub Bey 



were to collect two thousand men from Ochrida and 
Resna, form them into two bands, and march on 
Monastir without delay. The detailed instructions 
as to what he was to do would be delivered to him 
before he reached that town. 

As Niazi learnt later, the Committee of Union and 
Progress had decided that the time had arrived for 
it to make its great coup. The plan was simulta- 
neously to proclaim the Constitution at Monastir 
and send an ultimatum to the Sultan, who would have 
to choose between constitutional government, abdica- 
tion, and a bloody civil war. In the first place it was 
necessary for the Committee to secure the possession 
of Monastir, the head-quarters of the Government's 
military strength in Macedonia, where General 
Osman Pasha, an able man who exercised a greater 
moral influence over his troops than did his prede- 
cessor, Shemshi Pasha, was still in command. The 
bulk of the troops in Monastir were adherents of the 
Committee, but there were also many ready to obey 
the orders of the General. It was realised that if 
Osman Pasha could be got out of the way the sup- 
porters of the Government would be demoralised, 
and the Committee might then be able to establish 
its authority without bloodshed. The killing of each 
other by Turkey's Moslem soldiers was a calamity 
to be avoided. It was therefore decided to entrust 
to Niazi and Eyoub Beys the special duty of remov- 
ing Osman Pasha from Monastir as suddenly and 
quietly as possible, so as to allow no time for the 
organisation of opposition. 



To collect the necessary two thousand men was 
no difficult matter. In the first place it was decided 
to employ the very troops who had been the first to 
pursue Niazi and his band after the raising of the 
standard of revolt at Resna. This was a battalion 
of redifs of the Ochrida district which had been dis- 
banded after its fruitless chase of the revolutionary 
leader, because the authorities rightly suspected that 
most of the men were adherents of the Committee 
of Union and Progress. So messengers were sent 
to the neighbouring villages to summon these dis- 
banded soldiers — who had not yet given up their 
arms to the Government — to assemble at an ap- 
pointed place outside Ochrida. Niazi with his band 
marched into his own country to collect the men of 
Resna, Persepe, and Labcha. Throughout the night 
of the 20th and throughout the following day he 
traversed the mountainous countryside, his band 
being ever increased by the accession of fresh volun- 
teers who came to him generally in threes and fours, 
but occasionally in bodies of from forty to fifty 
men. Whenever the band passed through a village 
it was received with extraordinary enthusiasm, and 
the villagers brought presents of bread and cheese 
until each man was provided with two days' rations, 
the supply which Niazi deemed to be necessary. 

In the morning of July 21 Eyoub Effendi, with 
his Ochrida band of disbanded redifs and others, a 
thousand men in all, joined Niazi's band at Labcha, 
and now the column formed by the two united bands 
set off in the direction of Monastir. After dark, as 



they were approaching their appointed night's halt- 
ing place, an incident occurred which is interesting 
as illustrating the manners and customs of the wild 
Albanian hillmen. The stillness of the night was 
suddenly broken by the sound of rifle-fire on the 
mountainside above the road ; so Niazi sent out scouts 
to ascertain what was happening. It turned out 
that the Faragas and the Quapris, between which 
two tribes there had existed for ages a deadly blood 
feud, had each sent a band of about one hundred men 
to join Eyoub Bey's battalion; these two bands met 
in the mountain, and what happened may be best 
described in Niazi's own words: "It was indeed a 
sight worth witnessing — this meeting of the men of 
these two tribes, between whom there had been so 
intense an enmity, but who were now united, as with 
one heart, ready to die together for the sake of the 
same ideal. These tribesmen, who for two centuries 
had hated to see each other's faces or to hear each 
other's voices, and who had ever pursued each other 
with rifle-shots, had now, on meeting on the hillside, 
saluted each other with rifle-shots, and were eager, 
standing together as comrades, to use rifle-shots 
against the traitors and enemies of the fatherland." 

The column passed the night in the village of Gau- 
char, where many volunteers from the surrounding 
country joined the battalions of Niazi and Eyoub, 
bringing the force up to the strength of over two 
thousand men. The people gathered from the coun- 
tryside to crowd the village streets throughout the 
night to honour and entertain the fedais with simple 



refreshments. All these people were prepared to risk 
everything in the civil war, the immediate outbreak 
of which they considered as inevitable. 

On the following morning, July 22, the column 
marched under a blazing sun by the steep zigzag 
tracks that cross the precipitous ranges of Mount 
Pelista. At ten o'clock a halt was made, and the 
"National Battalion of Ochrida" under Eyoub Bey, 
and the "National Battalion of Resna" under Niazi 
Bey, were arranged in their roll-call order. There 
were twenty companies or bands in all, under twenty 
commanders, who included among them one lieuten- 
ant-colonel, several majors and captains, one doctor 
of medicine, and leading Beys of the Macedonian 
and Albanian land-owning class. Up to that mo- 
ment these National troops had not been informed of 
their destination or of the object of the expedition. 
So now, while Eyoub enlightened his battalion, 
Niazi addressed the men of his own command. He 
explained how, in order to serve the beneficent Com- 
mittee which was working for the salvation of the 
country, the men of his band had cheerfully given 
up comfort, and their wives and families, and had 
been ready to sacrifice their lives. "But now," he 
said, "these hardships and troubles will soon be a 
thing of the past, and they have achieved their 
purpose well. Relying upon the success which God 
gives and the inspiration of the Prophet, we are 
now on our way to the head-quarters of the Vilayet 
of Monastir to carry into execution a most impor- 
tant command of the Committee. Within a few 



hours, if we are successful, we shall have delivered 
our country from its afflictions. Without hurting a 
hair of his head we shall take the Mushir (Field 
Marshal), Osman Pasha, from his residence so as to 
prevent him from carrying into effect the injuries 
which it is in his mind to inflict upon the Commit- 
tee and the fatherland. May God enable us to per- 
form this duty with complete success. It is therefore 
necessary, my comrades, that you should carry out 
the orders which you will receive, literally and im- 
plicitly. The strictest order and discipline must be 

The men rejoiced to hear what they were called 
upon to do, and, despite their fatigue, when the order 
to resume the march was given, they proceeded along 
the rough roads at the double, eager to reach Monas- 
tir as soon as possible. While the column was on 
its way, there came to it a most acceptable mascot 
in the shape of a young roebuck. It was accompany- 
ing a half-dozen or so of bashi-bazouks, who had 
with them a letter from the Committee at Monastir 
ordering that they should be admitted into Niazi's 
band. They had found the roebuck in the hills, and 
as all Turks, even if they be savage bashi-bazouks, 
are fond of animals and are invariably kind to them, 
they caressed the creature and gained its confidence 
so well that it had followed them along the road. 
So this roebuck now became the pet of the column 
and marched at the head of it, fulfilling, says Niazi, 
the function of a guide, "for by some instinct it 
always ran on in the direction we had to go." 



Niazi's description of this incident well illustrates 
the kindly and religious sentiment of the Turks. 
"The soldiers," he tells us, "caressed and blessed 
it, and thanked God who had sent us this beautiful 
animal, which fascinated all with its charming ways. 
We regarded its presence as a propitious sign, a 
divine message of approval of our enterprise." 

In the evening, the column, after an extraordinary 
forced march, reached a village which was within a 
few miles of Monastir. A halt was called so that 
the men could have a meal and rest; and here, as had 
been arranged, there arrived from Monastir Lieu- 
tenant Osman Effendi with fifty men, bringing a 
sealed letter for Niazi which contained the Commit- 
tee's detailed instructions for the execution of the 
plan. Once more Niazi impressed the necessity of 
silence, steadiness, and obedience on the men; the 
order was given to march, and the eager fedais hur- 
ried along the road, sandal-shod, and therefore almost 
noiselessly, at the double, and covered the few miles 
that lay between them and their destination in a very 
short time. It was about eleven o'clock at night, 
and there were but few citizens in the streets, when 
the column came to the outskirts of Monastir. Here 
the main body remained while eight hundred men, 
divided into several detachments, and guided by 
members of the Monastir Committee, passed into 
the town by various routes and quickly and silently 
approached and surrounded the group of buildings 
which contained the Government House, the Head- 
quarters of the Commander-in-Chief, and the official 



residence of General Osman Pasha. At the same 
time agents of the Committee cut the telegraph 
wires and so prevented the General from holding 
any communication with the Yildiz or with his own 
staff. The sentries guarding the General's residence 
were quickly disarmed; only one man offered resist- 
ance, but he was pinioned before he could fire his 
rifle and give the alarm. Then two officers and some 
of the men of Niazi's band broke into the room where 
the General was in bed sleeping, and he was awakened, 
not unnaturally furiously angry, to find himself the 
prisoner of the revolutionaries. In the meanwhile 
other bodies of men discovered and placed under 
arrest the Chief of the Staff, the Officer in Com- 
mand of the Zone, and some other officers who were 
known to be no friends of the Committee of Union 
and Progress. 

His captors assured Osman Pasha that his life was 
in no danger, but, while addressing him with all the 
respect due to his high rank, they courteously ex- 
plained to him that their instructions were to escort 
him with all marks of honour to Resna, where he 
was to remain for a short time as the guest of 
the Committee of Union and Progress. Then they 
handed him a letter which had been drawn up by 
the Committee. It opened with the correct ceremo- 
nial salutations: "In the name of the most merciful 
and compassionate God. To His Excellency, Mu- 
shir, Osman Pasha. Peace be on you and the mercy 
of God. May God guide us and you." Then the 
letter proceeded — in terms so polite and flattering 



that one wonders whether the Committee was indul- 
ging in sarcasm — to point out that the courage and 
ability with which God had endowed His Excellency 
ought to be used to direct armies to crush the enemies 
of the fatherland, and not to attack the nation itself ; 
but that, unfortunately, His Excellency's official 
appointment and the extensive powers and instruc- 
tions that had been given to him by the Yildiz were 
calculated to induce him — no doubt against the 
dictates of his own conscience — to commit acts 
that might be injurious to the fatherland and cause 
the repetition of such regrettable events as occurred 
in Erzeroum (the Armenian massacres). His Excel- 
lency's life, the letter explained, was precious to the 
country; when the Despotism had been changed for 
constitutional government his services might be re- 
quired for the reform and reorganisation of the army. 
Consequently the Committee proposed to rescue His 
Excellency from his present awkward situation, and 
ventured to beg him to consent to become the Com- 
mittee's honoured guest; it trusted that he would 
not regard this as in any way bringing disgrace 
upon himself, and assured him that everything had 
been arranged that could safeguard his dignity and 
contribute to his comfort. It reminded him that 
opposition to the Committee's will could not avail, 
for his house was surrounded, all officers on whose 
obedience he could rely were under arrest, while the 
troops in the town and all the inhabitants were 
adherents of the Committee. 

Osman Pasha read this document without making 



any comment upon its contents, and asked whether 
he might go into the adjoining room to put on his 
clothes; but the two officers, fearing lest he might 
attempt suicide, were present while he dressed. Then 
the General left the house and, mounting a horse, 
was escorted by Niazi and his National Battalion of 
one thousand men to Resna, which was reached the 
following night, and here Osman was confined as an 
honoured prisoner in the house of one of the notables 
of the place. 

On that day, July 23, Macedonia and Albania 
threw off the Despotism, and even as Niazi's men 
were marching to Resna with their prisoner they 
heard behind them, far off, the sound of the cannon 
in Monastir that were saluting the Constitution. 
Niazi and his fedais had sworn not to return to their 
homes until their country had won its freedom, and 
now, having faithfully observed their oaths, he and 
many of his followers rejoined their rejoicing wives 
and families in Resna. Throughout the following 
day, July 24, Resna, like every other town and vil- 
lage in Turkey, presented an extraordinary spectacle. 
The people seemed to be mad with enthusiasm and 
delight. Turks, Bulgarians, Greeks, Servians, Wal- 
lachs were all as brothers. Several Bulgarian and 
Greek bands, one of the former led by the redoubt- 
able Cherchis himself, tramped into Resna that day 
to take part in the universal jollification and frater- 
nisation. Banners bearing the device, "Liberty, 
Equality, Fraternity, Justice," and national flags 
innumerable waved in the breeze, and all day long 



the people were shouting themselves hoarse with cries 
of "Long live the Nation!" "Long live the Army!" 
"Long live the Committee!" After a twenty-four 
hours' halt in Resna, during which he was occupied 
in receiving the Christian band leaders and adminis- 
tering the oath to them, and making arrangements in 
case of a levee en masse of the people (for it was uncer- 
tain yet whether the Sultan would submit or plunge 
the country into civil war), Niazi, by order of the 
Committee, marched back to Monastir with the two 
hundred original fedais of his band, accompanied by 
Cherchis and other leaders of the Christian bands. 

And here Niazi passes out of this story. I have 
given a somewhat full account of his wanderings, as 
the narrative will make clear the nature of the work 
that was done all over the country by those whose 
mission it was to gain the adherence of the civil pop- 
ulation to the revolutionary cause; and I think that 
it also shows that those virtues without which no 
people can be great or worthy of any respect — pa- 
triotism, and the readiness to sacrifice self for a high 
ideal — are possessed in a high degree by the Moslem 
Turks. Niazi was the first young officer to take to 
the mountains, and it was to his lot that the most 
important work fell; but it needed many others like 
him to make the insurrection so universal as it was. 
Enver Bey and dozens of other young officers were 
doing the same work as Niazi and with like success in 
other parts of the country. The local Committees, 
too, appear to have been wonderfully organised and to 
have been directed by single-minded patriots of great 



ability who kept ever in the background, their names 
unknown, and took no part in the public rejoicings 
when the victory was won. Thus the Committees 
in Uskeb and Janina, by their diligent propaganda, 
respectively won over the allegiance of the Northern 
Albanians and the Southern Albanians at the same 
time that Niazi was gaining that of the Western 
Albanians. Niazi is essentially the soldier, simple 
and straightforward and not a politician, and, now 
that his mission at the time of his country's peril has 
been successfully accomplished, he is back in his own 
province quietly fulfilling his military duties in the 
midst of troops who would follow him to hell, as our 
own private soldiers would put it. 




ON the night of July 22, so soon as Osman 
Pasha had been made a prisoner, the mem- 
bers of the Monastir Centre of the Com- 
mittee of Union and Progress proceeded to take over 
the government of the city and to secure the posi- 
tion that had been gained by Niazi's coup. In the 
first place, the Committee sent a telegram to the 
Sultan himself (to the Presence of His Sacred Maj- 
esty, the Caliph), beseeching him to command the 
practical application of the Fundamental Law (the 
Constitution of 1876) in order that the loyalty and 
devotion of his subjects might remain unimpaired; 
and informing him that, unless an Irade ordering the 
opening of the Chamber of Deputies was issued by 
the following Sunday — July 26 — events would 
"occur contrary to your Royal will and pleasure." 
The telegram concluded with the words: "The civil 
authorities, the officers of the army, the soldiers, the 
ulema, and sheikhs, the people great and small, of 
various creeds, within the Vilayet of Monastir, all 
united to work for one cause by an oath made 
upon the Unity of God, await your commands." 
Another telegram was despatched to inform the 



head-quarters of the Committee in Salonica that the 
coup had been made with success, and during that 
night young officers posted manifestos on the walls 
in that city calling upon the people to co-operate 
with the Committee and overthrow the Despotism. 

On the morning of July 23 the citizens of Mon- 
astir woke up to find that all signs of the Gov- 
ernment's authority had vanished, and that the 
Committee had become the undisputed master of 
the Vilayet. It was a day of frenzied rejoicings. 
The fifty thousand inhabitants of this city and thou- 
sands of people from the surrounding country packed 
the streets to cheer and sing the songs of liberty. 
Sometimes a narrow way would be opened through 
the dense crowd to allow the passing of companies 
of Anatolian troops joyfully marching to some ap- 
pointed spot where they were to be sworn in on the 
Unity of God as adherents of the Committee; or of 
a body of citizens carrying aloft on their shoulders 
the fedais, the members of the Moslem bands that 
had saved Turkey, the heroes of the hour. 

And ever and again there rose a roar of "Long 
live the Committee!" and the people went about 
seeking the members of the Committee, eager to do 
them honour and give them an ovation as they had 
done with the fedais. But the mysterious and invis- 
ible Committee was nowhere to be found. An ab- 
sorbing curiosity got hold of the people. Who were 
the men, they asked themselves, who had acted on 
the executive of the Committee, the secret leaders 
who had issued the manifestos and orders, who had 



organised the movement with such skill and daring? 
But it was impossible to obtain any answer to this 
question. It was not until some days after the Sul- 
tan had granted the Constitution that Niazi himself 
was given the names of those who composed the 
Monastir Executive, and then he found that among 
them were some of his most intimate friends. 

But on this wonderful day, July 23, the executive 
body of the Committee was too busily engaged on 
most important work to come forward and receive 
the congratulations that were its due; for much 
had yet to be done. The Committee decided not 
to await the Sultan's reply to its demand, but to 
proclaim the Constitution that very day in Monas- 
tir, and it was held that the most fitting person to 
make this announcement to the people would be the 
Governor of the Monastir Vilayet himself, the Vali, 
Hifzi Pasha. The Vali, as we have seen, had been 
bold enough, a few days earlier, to tell the Palace 
the exact truth concerning the state of affairs in 
Macedonia. In reply to this the Grand Vizier had 
telegraphed to rebuke him for lack of zeal and to 
give him certain instructions. On this the Vali had 
sent in his resignation to the Grand Vizier on the 
ground that he would not be responsible for the 
bloodshed and outrages which must follow the exe- 
cution of such orders. It was well known to the 
Committee that the Vali was a just and upright 
man whose sympathies were rather with the friends 
of liberty than with the Despotism which he served. 

On the morning of the twenty-third the Vali 



openly joined the revolutionary party. He sent 
telegrams to the Sultan and the Grand Vizier in- 
forming them of the capture of Osman Pasha, and 
stating that the entire military force in Monastir 
and 3500 armed men from among the inhabitants 
were now the sworn adherents of the Committee. 
In the afternoon the Vali read out the Commit- 
tee's proclamation of the Constitution in the pres- 
ence of tens of thousands of enthusiastic Moslems 
and Christians, and the garrison of Monastir; and 
then the cannon thundered out a salute that told 
the surrounding country that Turkey was to be 
made free at last. 

On this same day the Central Committee in 
Salonica and the branch Committees in other towns 
came forward to give clear proof to the people that 
the domination of the Palace was over. The Con- 
stitution was proclaimed in Resna, Dibra, and other 
towns in Macedonia and Albania at the same hour 
that it was proclaimed in Monastir. In Salonica 
the Central Committee, which here, too, had the gar- 
rison on its side and the Government at its mercy, 
decided that it would be to the interest of the 
revolutionary cause to make as short as possible 
the period of uncertainty as to whether it was to 
be civil war or peace; the enemies of liberty must 
be allowed no time for preparation or intrigue. 
Accordingly, at an early hour on June 23, the Com- 
mittee telegraphed its ultimatum to the Sultan, 
informing His Majesty that unless he granted the 
Constitution within twenty-four hours the Second 



and Third Army Corps would march upon Constan- 

The Committee's next step was to approach the 
Inspector-General, Hilmi Pasha (who was made 
Grand Vizier in February last), and to call upon 
him, as the highest Government official in Mace- 
donia, to proclaim the Constitution to the people. 
Hilmi had been a good servant of the Sultan, but 
at heart he hated the corrupt Palace and its ways, 
and recognised the justice of the Young Turkey 
cause which he had been instructed to persecute, 
but had persecuted so half-heartedly that he had 
drawn upon himself the rebukes of the Grand Vizier, 
Ferid Pasha. Hilmi's attitude was now correct and 
courageous. He told the Committee that though his 
sympathies were with the Young Turkey party, he 
was still the servant of the Sultan, and conse- 
quently could not proclaim the Constitution unless 
ordered to do so by his sovereign. Upon this the 
Committee informed him that unless he proclaimed 
the Constitution within twenty-four hours he would 
have to sutler the penalty — that is, to be put to 
death — that the telegraph lines were at his disposal 
and it behooved him, within the given time, to per- 
suade the Sultan that resistance to the will of the 
people would be of no avail, and that His Majesty 
could only retain his position on the throne by the 
immediate restoration of the Constitution. 

So Hilmi Pasha now sent telegram after telegram 
to the Palace to explain the exact state of affairs. 
He exposed the absolute hopelessness of the cause 



of the old regime — the two Pashas on whom the 
Sultan had relied to destroy the Committee of 
Union and Progress, Hilmi and Osman, were the 
prisoners of the Committee; the Anatolian troops 
that were to have stamped out the rebellion had 
become the sworn adherents of the Committee; the 
Second and Third Army Corps now formed the 
army of the Committee; of the First Army Corps 
in Constantinople itself the Palace Guards alone 
were above suspicion; there was no time to arouse 
the fanaticism of the Arabs and other Asiatics 
against the Young Turks; the action of the Ana- 
tolian regiments that had been brought to Salonica 
had proved that the Army Corps in Asia Minor had 
also been brought round to the side of the reform- 
ers; and lastly, from all over the Empire the news 
was coming in that Valis of provinces and other high 
officials had deserted the Palace Camarilla for the 
constitutional party. 

That day the people of Turkey were rejoicing in 
their newly found liberty; but it was a twenty -four 
hours of suspense and anxiety for the men who knew 
that it rested on the decision of one old man as to 
whether it was to be peace or civil war. The ulti- 
matum of the Committee and the telegrams of Hilmi 
Pasha were submitted to the Sultan by his terrified 
courtiers; but in the council chambers of the Yildiz, 
almost up to the last moment, there was hesita- 
tion and a conflict of opinions as to the course that 
should be adopted by the Government. There were, 
of course, members of the Camarilla, Izzet Pasha 



among them, who advocated resistance at any cost 
to the demands of the Committee, for these men, 
conscious of the evil they had wrought, knew that 
the Constitution would mean for them ruin and exile, 
and perhaps death. 

But, in the meanwhile, the Sultan had dismissed 
his Grand Vizier, Ferid Pasha, and had summoned 
to his Palace Said Pasha and Kiamil Pasha, the two 
oldest, most experienced, and upright statesmen of 
his reign, both of whom, though no admirers of 
Palace methods, had been Grand Viziers, and both 
of whom had been in disgrace and danger of their 
lives through the monarch's caprice and the jealousy 
of corrupt courtiers. The Sultan now appointed 
Said Pasha Grand Vizier in the place of Ferid Pasha. 
Throughout the day there had been fear and wrath 
and hesitation in the Yildiz, but on the evening of 
the twenty-third all the ministers were summoned 
to the Palace, and there was held the famous last 
State Council under the old regime. There was a 
long and anxious discussion, and to and fro between 
the Council and the Sultan went the Chief Cham- 
berlain and other messengers, keeping His Majesty 
informed of the progress of the debate — a mere 
matter of form as laid down by the etiquette of the 
Palace, for, as every one there knew, the Sultan was 
in the adjoining chamber sitting on the other side 
of the curtain which alone divided him from his 
consulting ministers, and could hear every word 
that was spoken. 

The night passed by, the morning was near, and 



the ministers were still debating. Said and Kiamil 
urged the necessity of yielding, and there were 
others who agreed with them; but Abdul Hamid 
inspired as much fear as ever in his advisers, and 
each of these, knowing of what things that listening 
man was capable when in a fit of anger, was afraid 
to be the first to utter the long-forbidden name 
"Constitution"; and the question was discussed in 
that ambiguous and circuitous fashion that Orien- 
tals understand so well how to employ. At last 
there was brought in to the Council Chamber on a 
litter the bedridden old Arab Court Astrologer, 
Abdul Houda, a favourite of the Sultan, who has 
recently died. He boldly put into plain words what 
was in the minds of all. Then Said Pasha asked 
the ministers whether it was their decision that the 
Sultan should be advised to grant the Constitution. 
To this they made no reply, and averted their eyes 
when he looked from one to another. Then, after 
a pause, Said quoted a Turkish proverb which is 
the equivalent of our own "Silence gives consent." 
The Sultan was forthwith informed of the decision 
of his ministers, and to the relief of all he agreed 
without any demur to restore the Constitution; for 
the shrewd monarch had by now fully realised the 
position and had made up his mind. 

So on the morning of July 24 the great news was 
telegraphed to every corner of the Ottoman Empire, 
and everywhere there were the same extraordinary 
demonstrations of popular joy. In Constantinople 
huge crowds, composed of Moslems, Christians, and 



Jews, flocked to the Yildiz to cheer the Sultan. On 
the broad quay of Salonica, Hilmi Pasha, to whom 
the Sultan's decision had meant the withdrawal of 
his death warrant, read out the proclamation of 
the Constitution to tens of thousands of exulting 

The Sultan had promised the Constitution, and 
all that remained to be done now was for him to 
issue the Irade that should confirm that promise 
and to take the oath of allegiance to the Constitu- 
tion. Some days passed, and his Majesty had taken 
no steps to perform these necessary formalities. 
The ever-vigilant Committee of Union and Prog- 
ress therefore saw to it that there should be no 
further delay, and issued its orders. Some Mace- 
donian troops were hurriedly brought up to the 
capital and were placed outside the Yildiz, while a 
man-of-war was stationed in the Bosphorus imme- 
diately below the Palace, with its guns directed on 
it. Then some young officers belonging to the Com- 
mittee demanded an audience of the Sultan and 
explained to him that he must sign the Irade there 
and then, else the Macedonian troops would over- 
power the Palace Guard and seize his Majesty's 
person. The Sultan yielded, the Irade was signed, 
and shortly afterwards the Sheikh-ul-Islam admin- 
istered to Abdul Hamid the oath by which he bound 
himself to restore, and to observe faithfully, the 
Constitution which he had violated thirty years 



HE victory had been won; the Young Turkey- 

party was triumphant; the Ottoman people 

had gained their liberty. There was com- 
plete individual liberty and liberty of the press ; there 
were no more spies, no more domiciliary visits, no 
more oppression. In short, the Turks, who for a 
generation had been groaning under the crudest of 
Oriental despotisms, in one day became as free as 
the people of England, indeed in some respects con- 
siderably freer than them. Peace came of a sudden 
to this troubled land which had for so long been an 
inferno of implacable racial hatreds, all men went 
about in security, and the peasants were able to 
sow their fields knowing that they themselves would 
be the reapers. This was not as other revolutions; 
for though for a time there was no law in the land 
and no administration, there was no anarchy, there 
were no cruel reprisals, there were no excesses; the 
conduct of the entire population was admirable. 

These revolutionaries, unlike those in some other 
lands, did not hasten, so soon as they had freed 
themselves of one despotism, to cast upon the coun- 
try the still more galling chains of democratic tyr- 



anny. The people who made this revolution were 
the educated men in Turkey, all that was best in 
the country; and thus from the beginning this had 
been the most conservative of revolutions. There 
was nothing approaching to socialism or anarchism 
in this movement. The Young Turks, as I have 
already explained, have no theories about the recon- 
struction of society; they have no schemes for the 
benefiting of one class by the spoliation of another; 
they do not believe that one man is as good as 
another, or that manhood suffrage will bring the mil- 
lennium. Like the English revolution of 1688, this 
one came from above and not from below. That 
the ignorant masses did not usurp the direction of 
the movement, and by discrediting it prepare the 
way for the restoration of the despotic power, was 
largely due to the fact that Turkey, fortunately 
for herself, has had her revolution before she has 
arrived at that stage of economic and industrial 
development when what we term the working-classes 
think out political and social theories or, rather, 
accept the views of the mischievous demagogues 
who mislead them. There is no class hatred in 
Turkey; there are no large manufacturing industries 
to produce hordes of discontented people in the big 
cities, and, so far, there are no agrarian questions to 
trouble the minds of the simple and pious Turkish 

Of the seventy thousand exiles who returned to 
Turkey from Europe and America after the procla- 
mation of the Constitution there were of course 



some who had mixed with Russian anarchists, with 
internationalists and other political extremists, and 
had absorbed their theories; but these are in a 
small minority and exercise no appreciable influ- 
ence. The same may be said of a certain set of 
well-to-do exiles who for years were idle Paris fla- 
neurs, lost some of their Ottoman virtues, became 
poor patriots, and have now returned as dilettante 
politicians, some of them to join the party which 
advocates a thorough-going home rule all round for 
the various races of Turkey — a programme detest- 
able to the more earnest Young Turks, who realise 
that such a policy would lead to the certain disinte- 
gration of the Empire. 

But it is of the attitude of the people themselves 
and not of the politicians that I wish to speak in 
this chapter. When the Ottomans of all races and 
creeds suddenly found themselves free they became 
filled with an exceeding joy, a new sentiment of 
brotherhood, and a profound gratitude to the 
saviours of the country, the Committee of Union 
and Progress, that took the practical form of implicit 
obedience to the Committee's mandates, so that it 
had little difficulty in preserving order. All over 
the country there were great demonstrations and 
rejoicings of enthusiastic and good-natured crowds, 
that touched foreign spectators of these scenes 
and compelled the sympathy even of the cynically 
inclined. In the streets and cafes and tramcars of 
the capital, wherein men had been wont to meet in 
silence, each suspecting the other, strangers, united 



by a common joy, now spoke to each other freely 
and in kindly fashion. It was a reign of universal 
amity, and it seemed as if all that is best in human 
nature had come to the top. European witnesses 
have described the wonderful fraternisations of men 
of all races and creeds: how Turks, Armenians, 
Bulgarians, and Jews harangued sympathetic crowds 
in the streets of the capital, preaching peace and 
good will among men; how even in Beyrout, notori- 
ous for the massacres of Christians under the late 
regime, Christian priests and turbanned mollahs em- 
braced publicly before fraternising mobs of Moslems 
and Armenians; how in the same city the Turkish 
commander with his officers and troops attended a 
service in the Armenian church to lament over the 
massacres of their Christian fellow-countrymen; 
and how, with the same object, crowds of Moslems 
in Stamboul went to the Armenian cemetery to pray 
and place flowers upon the graves of those who had 
been slaughtered by the orders of the Palace. It 
was the same in Jerusalem, where the various Chris- 
tian sects — hitherto kept from flying at each other's 
throats by the bayonets of the Moslem soldiery — 
now made friends and joined in processions with 
Mussulmans and Jews. 

In Salonica, the head-quarters of the revolution, 
there were scenes of intense national rejoicing that 
astonished European observers. The Bulgarian, 
Greek, and other leaders of bands, the Albanian brig- 
and chiefs, and all their followings of ferocious out- 
laws of the hills, on whose heads there had been a 



price for years, men of different races who since 
boyhood had been burning each other's villages and 
killing each other's women, flocked into the town to 
submit to the Committee, to be reconciled to one 
another, and to become the friends of the Moslem 
Turks. Sandansky himself, the king of the moun- 
tains, the most formidable of the Bulgarian leaders 
of bands, came in, harangued the crowds on liberty, 
fraternity, and justice, and was received with the 
greatest enthusiasm. All these fighting men, who 
had spread terror through Macedonia and Albania, 
clad in the picturesque dress of Europe's wildest and 
least known regions, forgot civil war and blood 
feuds, fraternised with each other and with the Turk- 
ish soldiery, marched down the streets roaring the 
songs of liberty, hobnobbed together over cups of 
coffee, and sometimes mastic and raki, in the cafes, 
embraced each other, and swore to be brothers. 

I was in Salonica four months after Turkey had 
won her freedom, and the national jubilation had not 
yet subsided ; it was everywhere exultation and good- 
fellowship. Here, in this city of many races, I found 
myself surrounded by a refreshing atmosphere of joy- 
ous delight in the new-found liberty. From the win- 
dow of my hotel I looked out upon the busy quay and 
the blue sea that stretched to the snows of Olympus. 
Along this quay passes most of the life of the town, 
and at frequent intervals something happened in 
front of me to remind me of the revolution and of 
the keenness of the people. Now it was a proces- 
sion of Christians and Mussulmans fraternising and 



singing patriotic songs on their way to the railway 
station to cheer a newly elected Deputy who was 
starting for Constantinople; now it was a body of 
troops of the Macedonian army marching through 
crowds which hailed them as their liberators; now a 
battalion paraded on the quay to be exhorted by 
some general before embarking for Constantinople, 
for at that time the Young Turks were despatching 
more of their faithful troops to the capital, deter- 
mined to be in readiness should the forces of reaction 
reassert themselves; now it was the return from over 
the water of some exile of despotism to the friends 
and relatives who had not seen him for years. Thus 
one morning I saw a flag-decorated tender come off 
from a newly arrived steamer and land on the stage 
in front of me the Albanian General, Mehmed 
Pasha, just freed from a long exile in Baghdad; he 
was welcomed with shouts and clapping of hands by 
the large crowd of Albanians and others who had 
come to escort him to his house. 

There were most affecting sights, too, to be seen 
in those early days of liberty.. When it was de- 
creed that political prisoners should be liberated, 
the gates of the prisons were thrown open, and out 
poured, in their thousands, the captives of the Des- 
potism, to be received by crowds of deeply moved 
sympathisers. Many of these unfortunate men had 
been confined for years in cells but twelve feet square, 
and came out into fresh air and sunshine dazed and 
weak in mind, like the prisoner of the Bastille in 
Dickens' famous story, to be led home by relatives 



and friends. Here one would see outside the prison 
door a husband and wife greet each other with tears 
of joy after years of separation, and here some poor 
wretch, with spirit long since tortured out of him, 
weeping miserably as he wandered to and fro because 
no dear ones had come to meet him, and he realised 
that they had died while he was in captivity. 

It was pleasant to observe the confidence and 
pride of the population in the Young Turk leaders, 
who had sacrificed so much for liberty and justice. 
The patriotism of the people of Salonica was then 
being displayed in various ways. Large sums were 
being collected to supply comforts to the troops who 
throughout the winter were to guard the northern 
frontier against any attack on the part of Turkey's 
enemies, and a movement had also been started in 
the town, which, if it spreads far enough, may re- 
lieve the Government of some of its embarrassments. 
Officers of the garrison and civil servants of all 
grades, reading of the depleted treasury and the 
heavy burden of the floating debt, were abandoning 
their claims to their arrears of pay, because, as 
they said, their country needed the money. Dep- 
uties, also, were refusing to accept their travelling 

For one who knew Turkey under the old regime it 
was very interesting, in Constantinople, to observe 
the outward signs of the great change which had 
come to the country, and to note the attitude of 
a population which found itself suddenly in the 
enjoyment of the widest liberty. In most countries, 



after such a revolution, the people would have been 
intoxicated with their new freedom; the forces of 
disorder would have been let loose; there would 
have been, for a while, a condition approaching 
anarchy. But Constantinople is not like other 
European capitals, and it took its revolution in a 
sensible fashion. All the old restrictions had been 
swept away ; but liberty had not broken into license. 
Though there was no longer a censorship of printed 
matter, the Turkish press observed a dignified mod- 
eration in its tone. For the first time the comic 
papers were free to publish political caricatures in 
which the highest personages were represented; but 
if one might judge from such as were exhibited in 
the windows of the newspaper shops, there was 
nothing offensive in these somewhat crude pictures. 
Large crowds attended political meetings in the 
capital; but there was no disturbance of the peace 
and there was no need for the presence of the 
police or the troops, save when the Greeks, who are 
never happy unless they have some real or imagi- 
nary grievance to make a noise about, made demon- 
strations during the elections. People now enjoyed 
the right to form themselves into associations, but 
one heard of no anarchical societies ; and apparently 
the first result of this new privilege was that the 
Turkish temperance reformers availed themselves of 
it to establish a total abstinence league in Csesarea. 

But, as might be expected, the interregnum be- 
tween the withdrawal of the authority of the old 
regime with its severe code and its armies of spies, 



and the reorganisation of the police and other de- 
partments by the Young Turks was taken advan- 
tage of to some extent by the ignorant and lawless. 
At the beginning of the revolution all prisoners, in- 
cluding the criminals, were released from the gaols 
— probably because it was impossible in many cases 
to ascertain whether the offence for which a man 
had been confined was a political one or otherwise. 
The restrictions on the sale and carrying of fire-arms 
were also removed, with the result that revolvers 
in tens of thousands poured into the city and 
were at once bought up. A large proportion of the 
population carried revolvers and also let them off; 
men practised with them in the streets; accidents 
were frequent; and in some quarters of the city, 
especially in the poorer Greek quarters, it was not 
unusual to hear a regular fusillade going on at 
night, generally in honour of something or other, or 
to spread the news that a house was on fire. Rob- 
bery with violence in the streets certainly increased 
after the revolution. But, notwithstanding all this, 
it could not be fairly said that Constantinople was a 
dangerous place to walk about in at any hour; and 
indeed, when it is remembered what a lot of cosmo- 
politan blackguardism there is in that city of over a 
million inhabitants, it is astonishing that there was 
so large a measure of security for life and property. 

It was natural, too, that Turks of the poorer and 
more ignorant class should be under the impression 
that this new constitutional liberty meant that each 
man was free to do what he liked — a common error 



which before long was eradicated from the minds 
of this naturally law-abiding people by the Young 
Turk administration. Thus many thought that the 
Constitution wiped out the liability to pay any pri- 
vate debts incurred before the revolution. In the 
country, peasants came to the conclusion that they 
would no longer be called upon to pay taxes; in 
the towns the contrabandists sold their smuggled 
tobacco openly ; and in Constantinople itself the pop- 
ular conception of liberty produced some amusing 
results. The firewood sellers were to be seen calmly 
chopping up their logs in the middle of a busy 
thoroughfare; pavements were often blocked with 
the wares of the hawkers; and others in like man- 
ner carried on their avocations in public; so that 
the narrow, crowded streets and the Galata Bridge, 
difficult enough to traverse in the days of the old 
regime, became almost impassable. This sums up 
the inconveniences of the interregnum; they were 
wonderfully few and trifling when one bears in mind 
what a revolution this had been. 

It was, of course, difficult for the Young Turks to 
reorganise the police and carry out administrative 
reforms until Parliament met; for the pro visionary 
Ministry was naturally disinclined to accept much 
responsibility. But in the meanwhile, though there 
was a little license in small matters, the people were 
made to understand clearly that the Committee 
would stand no nonsense. This was proved at the 
time of the coaling strike in Galata not long after the 
proclamation of the Constitution. The men, having 



struck once and obtained the concession of their 
demands, came to the conclusion that under the new 
Constitution they were free to extort what they 
pleased and terrorise the population; so they struck 
again for a prohibitive rate of wage which would 
have closed the port to commerce. It was a critical 
time: the Young Turks were on their trial; their 
movement had been represented by their enemies as 
anarchical; their cause would be lost were they to 
fail to preserve order among the populace. It must 
be remembered that this was not only the question 
of a strike, but of probable rioting of so serious a 
nature that it might have caused European inter- 
vention; for these labourers who coal the ships at 
Galata belong to that rabble of Kurds and other 
Mussulmans of the lowest class which is only too 
ready, on a hint from the Palace, to set about massa- 
cring Armenians and other Christians. 

It therefore behooved the Young Turks to prove 
that they could rule men, and they did so. Two 
young officers rode boldly, unescorted, into the mid- 
dle of a dangerous crowd of the strikers, and by their 
firm attitude compelled the men to listen to them. 
First they tried persuasion, and pointed out to the 
strikers that by their action they were prejudicing 
the cause of freedom which they had so loudly ac- 
claimed but a few days before. But the men would 
not be persuaded and refused to go back to their 
work. Then the two officers changed their attitude. 
One, drawing his revolver, reminded the men that 
under the old regime the soldiers would have been 



sent to throw them into the water or cast them into 
prison! "And as you are conducting yourselves as 
friends of the old regime, so shall you be treated," 
he exclaimed. "I will come down here to-morrow 
and ask you to return at once to your work. I will 
with my own hand shoot down the first man who 
refuses to do so, and the rest of you will be swept 
into the sea or into prison." The next morning the 
two officers rode to the quay followed by a body of 
cavalry. The strikers knew that what had been 
said was meant, and quietly went off to work, and 
there has been no trouble since with this dangerous 
element of the population. 

Indeed, the Committee, by its firmness and justice, 
made itself loved of the people, who at last came to 
obey its orders without question. Thus, when the 
Committee enjoined the strict boycott of Austrian 
trade, while at the same time forbidding the popu- 
lace to molest or insult Austrian subjects, a wonder- 
ful thing happened. The Austrians were able to go 
about the streets in perfect safety; and the Austrian 
shops remained open, but no one would buy of 
them, however cheaply they offered their goods. 
The rough and ignorant Kurds who do the coal- 
ing and also earn their living as lightermen and as 
porters in Galata, and the poor Jews who do the 
same work in Salonica, to a man enforced the boy- 
cott, though it meant for them a great falling off 
in their small wages, and short commons for their 
families. Thus no Constantinople boatman would 
take a passenger off to an Austrian steamer, or 



carry him on shore from it when he reached his 
destination. These steamers had to use their own 
launches for the embarkation and disembarkation 
of passengers; and the person who had sailed under 
this tabooed flag sometimes found himself in a sorry 
plight even after he had been landed on a Turkish 
quay, no porter being willing to carry his baggage. 
But in February last, so soon as the Governments of 
Turkey and Austria had arranged their differences, the 
Committee of Union and Progress gave the word that 
the boycott should cease; and cease it did within an 
hour of this order: the boatmen, porters, lightermen, 
and dock labourers in every port in Turkey coming 
out as one man to work again for the Austrians. 

In the cities and in the countryside all seemed to 
be going well with the cause of the Young Turks ; but 
foreigners who observed this harmonious opening of 
the new regime and this extraordinary fraternisation 
of men of different races and creeds hitherto irrecon- 
cilable asked themselves how long this reign of uni- 
versal friendship could last, and whether this falling 
into each other's arms of Turks, Armenians, Bulgari- 
ans, and others was due to any sentiment more deep 
and permanent than the joyous intoxication caused 
by this unaccustomed wine of liberty. Like other 
Englishmen in Turkey at that time, I came to the 
conclusion that the Young Turks were quite sincere; 
that they were honestly desirous to have done with 
internal strife, to give equality to all the elements of 
the population, and to live in peace and friendship 
with their non-Moslem fellow-countrymen. The 



Armenians and Jews have proved their sincerity by 
cooperating loyally with the Young Turks through- 
out the parliamentary elections and since. Of the 
Macedonian Christians the bulk had become weary 
of bloodshed and the internecine conflict that had 
brought nothing but suffering and ruin to the pop- 
ulation; and there was no insincerity about the 
friendly relationship that sprang up between the 
sturdy Bulgarian leaders of fighting bands and their 
former foes, the Turkish officers, for they respected 
each other. The civil warfare in Macedonia had 
been deliberately fomented by the machinations of 
the Palace gang, to whom the doctrine of divide et 
impera was ideal statesmanship, and to the intrigues 
of Bulgaria, Servia, and Greece. There is no reason 
why, if left alone, these peoples might not dwell 
together in peace. A short time since a mollah, ad- 
dressing the people, said, "Before the reign of Abdul 
Hamid the Moslem and Christian mothers used to 
nurse each other's children." But will these Mace- 
donian peoples be left alone by Palace agents of 
reaction, by those Great Powers whose interests are 
opposed to the creation of a strong and independent 
Turkey, and by the greedy little neighbouring states? 

It is, of course, too much to hope that constitu- 
tional government has put a sudden end to the re- 
ligious and racial strife in Macedonia. The Greeks 
in the country have already demonstrated the illu- 
siveness of such an expectation. The Greeks, like 
the others, welcomed the Constitution and frater- 
nised with their Ottoman fellow-countrymen. Car- 



ried away by the enthusiasm of the moment they 
may have been sincere in their protestations of 
brotherhood, but one suspects that the mental res- 
ervations were at the back of their brains all the 
while. If one misjudges them in this, then their 
own actions and the utterances of their press belie 
them. In the hour of national jubilation they sup- 
plied the one discordant note. One of the first uses 
that they made of the freedom which the Young 
Turks had won for them was to boycott and insult 
the Bulgarians in Salonica, and the news came that 
the Greek clergymen in the interior were once more 
persecuting the Bulgarian exarchists, and had drawn 
up prescription lists of the leading Bulgarians with 
a view to getting them assassinated. The Greek 
element of the population, as might be expected, was 
the first to express dissatisfaction with the policy and 
administration of the Young Turks. The intolerant 
and often mischievously active Greek Patriarchate 
in Constantinople, which denied the Bulgarians the 
use of their own language, supported the Greeks 
in clamouring for much more than was their due. 
Their idea of Ottoman citizenship, so far as them- 
selves were concerned, was to avoid all the obliga- 
tions of that citizenship, while enjoying all the 
rights conferred by it and retaining all their special 
privileges intact. They seemed to think that the 
government of Turkey should be in their hands. 
During the elections it was they alone who pro- 
voked rioting and at Smyrna they created, a danger- 
ous disturbance with their armed mobs. 




)URING the four months' interregnum be- 
tween the granting of the Constitution and 
the opening of Parliament, the Committee 
of Union and Progress was the undisputed ruler of 
Turkey. It dictated to the monarch what his de- 
crees should be, it moved armies, it removed and 
appointed ministers, governors of provinces, and 
other high officials. These untried young men who 
formed the Committee, while introducing a new 
order of things and protecting their country against 
the numerous dangers that threatened to destroy 
the newly gained liberty, displayed a wisdom, tact, 
moderation,^ shrewdness, and foresight that were 
astonishing to foreign observers. They maintained 
order with firmness, greatly assisted in this by the 
dignified self-control and patriotism of the people 
themselves. Though they and thousands of others 
had suffered much from the cruelty and rapacity of 
the Despotism and its parasites, they displayed no 
vindictiveness; they punished only the most guilty 
of these; removed only those who showed by their 
actions that they were a source of danger to the 
Constitution; and they frankly forgave the others. 




The relations of Turkey with foreign Powers were 
directed by them with a tactful and resourceful 
statesmanship. Their mistakes were remarkably 

From the beginning they showed their fitness to 
rule. The avowed object of the Young Turks had 
been to depose the Sultan, and when they offered 
him the alternative of acceptance of the Constitu- 
tion or abdication, they had little expectation that 
he would submit to their conditions. But when the 
astute Sultan did submit in a very graceful manner, 
protesting that he was a believer in a constitutional 
form of government, and posing as if he and not the 
revolutionary party had brought the boon of lib- 
erty to his subjects, the Young Turks showed their 
statesmanship by as graciously accepting the situ- 
ation, and became once more the loyal subjects of a 
constitutional monarch, whose cleverness and diplo- 
matic experience, if he would now use them rightly, 
might be of great service to his country and his 
people. The Sultan is the Commander of the Faith- 
ful to millions of Mussulmans, and had the Com- 
mittee attempted to depose him at that critical time 
a long civil war might have resulted. So Abdul 
Hamid was left on the throne of Othman, nominally 
ruling, to outward seeming popular with the people, 
who cheered him enthusiastically whenever he 
appeared in public. But the Young Turks had not 
forgotten how Abdul Hamid, in 1878, destroyed the 
Constitution which he had sworn to uphold, so that 
power behind the throne, the Committee of Union 



and Progress, remained ever watchful, as the strong 
guardian of the people's liberties. 

I will now briefly sum up the results of the Commit- 
tee's energetic action during the few weeks immedi- 
ately following the proclamation of the Constitution. 
In the first place it had to make itself as strong as 
possible so as to combat the reactionary intrigues 
that were working for the restoration of the Des- 
potism. It therefore set itself to establish its hold on 
the army, to obtain the sanction of the Moslem relig- 
ion, and to complete the pacification of Macedonia. 
It took the precaution of removing from the Second 
and Third Army Corps all officers suspected of reac- 
tionary views, and concentrated the bulk of the troops 
loyal to the Constitution at Adrianople, within strik- 
ing distance of the capital, where, at any rate, a con- 
siderable portion of the First Army Corps and the 
Sultan's Praetorian Guard only needed the word from 
the Palace to become the instrument of the reaction- 
aries. Later on the Committee was able to obtain 
the removal of most of the battalions of the Impe- 
rial Guard from Constantinople and to replace them 
with troops from Salonica, thus securing the Com- 
mittee's domination in the capital. 

As regards the religious question, the work of the 
Young Turks was made easy by the Sheikh-ul-Islam, 
who — so soon as he had administered to the Sultan 
the oath by which the latter swore to respect the 
Constitution — proclaimed to the faithful that con- 
stitutional government was not contrary to, but 
was in accordance with, the teaching of the Koran; 






he rebuked the fanatics who were preaching against 
the reforms as being anti-religious, and saw to it 
that the mosques were not used as centres of reac- 
tionary agitation and intrigue. For the reaction- 
aries were not idle, and, in European as well as in 
Asiatic Turkey, their agents — often ex-Palace spies 
disguised as doctors of the sacred law and hodjas 
— were appealing to Moslem bigotry and denoun- 
cing the Constitution as the invention of the Evil 
One himself. To counteract this mischievous propa- 
ganda the Committee sent out its own missionaries 
all over the country, and doctors learned in the 
sacred law and others enlightened the people, sup- 
porting their arguments with quotations from the 
Koran, and in many cases preaching sermons that 
had been written for this purpose by the Sheikh-ul- 
Islam himself. It was also a great help to the cause 
that nearly all the Turkish press supported the 
Committee. Indeed, during the first few months 
of the new regime, a paper holding the unpopular 
opposite opinions would have had but few readers. 

The Committee, having army, religion, and press 
on its side, was strong enough to dominate the 
Palace. It demanded of the Sultan the signing of 
Irade after Irade, and if the required Imperial decree 
was not immediately forthcoming, a threat that the 
Adrianople army would march upon Constantinople 
within twenty -four hours always produced the de- 
sired effect. Thus, within a few days after the 
proclamation of the Constitution, Abdul Hamid had 
to sign Irades by virtue of which he granted a general 



amnesty, the release of all political prisoners, the 
abolition of the spy system, the inviolability of 
domicile, a free press, the abolition of the censor- 
ship, the liberty of the individual to travel in for- 
eign countries, in short, all the privileges enjoyed 
by the citizens of free countries. 

Then the Sultan was compelled to dismiss his 
favourites and principal advisers, including his hated 
secretary, Izzet Pasha, his old Arab astrologer, 
Abdul Houda, Tashin Pasha, and Ismail Pasha, 
the founder of the detestable military spy system. 
The Camarilla, that had all but destroyed Turkey, 
was broken up and scattered. Izzet and several 
other notorious people effected their escape to Eng- 
land and elsewhere — '- fortunately for some of them, 
who, had they remained, would probably have been 
torn to pieces by infuriated mobs, like the infamous 
Fehmi Pasha. But the Young Turks, as I have 
explained, despite the intense hatred which some of 
them must have nourished against the cruel oppres- 
sors and traitors to their country who had acted as 
the instruments of the Despotism, refrained from 
vengeance, and there were no reprisals. Penalties 
were only inflicted where the country's good de- 
manded these. Some of the worst ministers of the 
tyranny were imprisoned in the War Office, or con- 
fined in their own houses on Prinkipo Island in the 
Sea of Marmora, where many rich Turks have their 
summer residences. Some have undergone their 
trial, and have been compelled to disgorge the pub- 
lic moneys which they had embezzled. For the rest 



it was complete amnesty, and when the Constanti- 
nople mobs began to occupy themselves in hunting 
down men recognised to have been spies of the 
Palace, in order to carry them off to the prison of 
the War Office, the Committee, whose word had to 
be obeyed, peremptorily forbade this practice. On 
the other hand, if any man took advantage of this 
leniency to indulge in reactionary intrigue, sterner 
justice was administered. Ismail Pasha, for exam- 
ple, the inventor of the military spy system, for 
very good reasons was shot in Constantinople in 
December last by a young officer. 

The Committee recognised that one of their first 
duties was to complete the pacification of Macedo- 
nia. They successfully accomplished this within 
a very short time, and without bloodshed. The 
Greeks alone were causing any difficulty; but the 
Greek bishops, clergy, and leaders of bands came to 
understand that the Young Turks would put up 
with no nonsense from them, and that the sympathy 
of Europe would not be with them if they resisted 
the new regime. So it was not long after the grant- 
ing of the Constitution that the last Greek band 
came in, and for the first time for many years there 
was peace in Macedonia. The British Government, 
recognising that there was no longer any need for 
European intervention in that region, withdrew 
from the arrangement with Russia that had resulted 
from the Reval meeting, displaying a confidence in 
the Young Turks that won their deep gratitude. 
The Young Turks had a very keen appreciation of 



the sympathy that was displayed for them by the 
English. To Englishmen travelling in the country, 
at that time, the sincere and hearty friendship 
extended to them by the Turkish people was most 
gratifying and affecting. 

It is one thing to make a revolution, but it is 
quite another thing to undertake to govern and 
administer a country after the successful revolu- 
tion has swept away the old order. The Young 
Turks showed that they were wise enough to know 
their own limitations. There were few among them 
who had any knowledge of administration, public 
finance, and diplomacy; so they decided to make 
use of the existing machinery of government. They 
got rid of the notoriously corrupt among the high 
officials, but retained the services of the more 
capable and upright of the ministers, provincial 
governors, and others, even if they happened to be 
Pashas of the old-school, fanatical Mussulmans who 
hated European ways, looked askance at liberty, 
and regarded with horror the scheme for giving 
equal rights to Christians and Moslems. But these 
old servants of the State were kept under observa- 
tion, and they were promptly ousted if they failed 
to exercise their authority on the lines laid down 
by the Constitution, and faithfully to hold aloof 
from reactionary intrigue. As many of these offi- 
cials were honest patriots at heart, though narrow- 
minded in their views, the compromise worked well 
pending the training of a new school of administra- 
tors belonging to the Young Turk party. 



Thus to the highest office of all, the Grand Viz- 
ierate, men of long administrative experience have 
been appointed. So soon as the Sultan had submitted 
to the will of the people, the then Grand Vizier, Ferid 
Pasha, and his ministers had to go, for they were too 
closely connected with the Hamidian system to be 
trusted; but the three Grand Viziers who have so far 
succeeded Ferid — Said Pasha, Kiamil Pasha, and 
Hilmi Pasha — have all taken a prominent part as 
servants of the State under the old regime, Said and 
Hilmi having already been Grand Viziers on several 
occasions. Said Pasha, the first Grand Vizier under 
the new regime, has been the Sultan's friend and 
adviser — disgraced at intervals like the rest — from 
the commencement of the reign. First, as the Sul- 
tan's secretary, he helped his master to overthrow 
Midhat Pasha's Constitution and to destroy the 
power of the Sublime Porte. A few years later, as 
Grand Vizier, he encouraged the Sultan in his Pan- 
Islamic dreams, and in his effort to deprive the 
Christians in Turkey of their ancient privileges. 
He had proved himself an upright and strong man, 
and in his old age he had modified his views and 
recognised the evils of the despotic system which 
he had helped to build up, but he was scarcely the 
right sort of man to be Prime Minister under a 
constitutional government, and it is not astonishing 
that his term of office lasted for but a few days. 
His first mistake was in the execution of the Impe- 
rial Irade that liberated all political prisoners. He 
took it upon himself to free all the criminals as 



well, letting loose upon the capital, at that critical 
time, a crowd of murderers and robbers. The ever- 
watchful Committee, mindful of Said's career, sus- 
pected that he had acted thus in order to cause 
disorder in the city, and so injure the cause of the 
Young Turkey party in the interest of the reaction- 
aries. A week later a discovery was made that 
precipitated the crisis. Said, while drawing up a 
statement of the principal points of the Constitu- 
tion, to which the Sultan's signature was to be 
appended in token of adhesion, had altered a clause 
so as to leave the appointment of the Ministers of 
War and Marine to the Sultan, instead of to the 
Grand Vizier, as had been laid down by Midhat's 
Constitution. To leave the control of the army in 
the hands of the Sultan was to place more trust in 
his word than the Young Turks were willing to do. 
So the Committee, as guardian of the nation's hard- 
won liberty, gave the word that has to be obeyed. 
Said had to resign, and his Ministers of War and 
Marine were at once placed under arrest, as a pre- 
cautionary measure. 

On August 6, 1908, Kiamil Pasha was appointed 
Grand Vizier, and was allowed to choose his own 
ministers; of the members of Said's Ministry he 
retained but two, the Sheikh-ul-Islam and the Min- 
ister of Foreign Affairs. The appointment of Kiamil 
was universally acclaimed. Able, firm, and patriotic, 
with an honourable career behind him, he was a 
persona grata with men of all races and creeds, and 
was the most popular statesman in Turkey. He had 



always been the steadfast friend of the English, and 
has many friends in England. The gracious tele- 
gram of congratulation which King Edward VII 
sent on Kiamil's appointment produced a wonderful 
effect and did much to tighten the cordial relations 
between the two countries. 

Kiamil is now about eighty-seven years of age. 
Throughout his long career this wise old man has 
shown himself incorrupt and a hater of corruption, 
a lover of justice, an advocate of reform, but mod- 
erate, unwilling to force radical changes on a peo- 
ple yet unripe, a man of wide knowledge, free from 
fanaticism and friendly to Europeans, while ready 
to protect his country against the undue influence 
in her internal affairs which has been exercised with 
such callous selfishness, to their own advantage and 
to Turkey's partial ruin, by certain Powers. 

Six months before the outbreak of the revolution, 
Kiamil was holding the important office of Vali of 
the province of Aidin, of which Smyrna, the com- 
mercial centre of the Levant, is the capital. Here 
for thirteen years he had won the confidence and 
affection of people of every class by the justice and 
usefulness of his administration. But the Cama- 
rilla ever hated a just and honest man, and Pal- 
ace intrigue arranged for his destruction. He was 
falsely accused of being in league with the brigands 
of Asia Minor; secret instructions were given for his 
arrest, and a steamer was sent to Smyrna to convey 
him as an exile to the island of Rhodes. Under 
the Despotism exiles died quickly, and Captain 



von Herbert, from whose description of the inci- 
dent in the Fortnightly Review I have taken some 
of my facts, himself saw the canvas sack in which 
it was intended to drop Kiamil overboard during 
the voyage — the official account would doubtless 
have informed the world that the Pasha had died 
of sea-sickness. But fortunately Kiamil obtained 
knowledge of the order for his arrest, and on Jan- 
uary 12 he hurried to the British Consulate at 
Smyrna, and there took refuge under the British 
flag. The Consul gladly received him, and got 
into telegraphic communication with London. Sir 
Edward Grey commanded that British protection 
should be extended to the Pasha, who as a native 
of Cyprus was technically entitled to claim it. The 
Consulate was surrounded by police and spies, the 
steamers in the port were closely watched; but, 
despite all the precautions that were taken, Kiamil 
was able to escape in the steam launch belonging 
to the well-known banking firm of the Whittals, 
and got safely on board a German liner bound for 
Stamboul. The steamer duly arrived at her des- 
tination; the British Ambassador guaranteed that 
Kiamil should have interviews with the Sultan at 
which none of the Camarilla would be present; 
and the Pasha landed in the capital, thus placing 
himself in the power of the Despot; which was a 
brave thing to do when one bears in mind the fate 
of Midhat and others. Kiamil had his private in- 
terviews with Abdul Hamid, and spoke to him 
boldly concerning the evils of his rule, the ruin 



that was threatening the Ottoman Empire, and the 
corruption and villainy of the Sovereign's entourage. 
But the Camarilla still remained to exercise its mis- 
chievous power until the very end, though appar- 
ently it dared not interfere with one still nominally 
under the protection of England; for Kiamil did 
not disappear mysteriously. He kept outside pub- 
lic affairs and dwelt quietly in his house in Con- 
stantinople — no doubt under the close surveillance 
of spies — until the successful revolution brought 
him once again to the head of affairs. 

During the first six months of the new regime, that 
very critical period when the Constitution was men- 
aced by foes within and without, and even the integ- 
rity of the Empire was at stake — Kiamil, as Grand 
Vizier, steered the ship of State safely through many 
dangers, and his shrewd and cautious diplomacy 
greatly strengthened the position of Turkey. His 
ministers, among whom were one Armenian and 
one Greek, were men whose characters were above 
reproach, and they did much to reform the machin- 
ery of their respective departments. Kiamil stood 
his country in good stead, and Turkey has good 
reason to be grateful to him; but he, too, after six 
months of office, had to resign, though with no loss 
of honour to himself, at the bidding of the Com- 
mittee; and, as in the case of his predecessor, 
Said Pasha, the question of the appointment of the 
Ministers of War and Marine was the immediate 
cause of the Cabinet crisis — a matter concerning 
which I shall say more in another chapter. 



Kiamil's successor to the Grand Vizierate, Hilmi 
Pasha, is another man of the old regime. I have 
already spoken of the part which he took in Salo- 
nica during the last days of the Despotism, when the 
Committee threatened him with death. Long be- 
fore any one thought that there was a chance of 
Hilmi's becoming Grand Vizier, he was described 
to me as being an honest and able man of strong 
character, with a good record behind him, somewhat 
fanatical, and with little sympathy with the Chris- 
tian elements of the population. As Inspector-Gen- 
eral in Salonica before the revolution, he obeyed 
the instructions given to him by the Palace, and 
obstructed as much as possible the reforms in 
Macedonia — dictated by the Great Powers — which 
it was his ostensible duty to superintend. But to 
stand in the way of European intervention was 
no grave fault in the eyes of the Young Turks. 
Though the officer of the Despotism, Hilmi's sym- 
pathies were with the cause of the reformers, and 
he is now trusted by them. 

From the beginning, therefore, the Young Turks 
have placed at the head of the Government, not 
advanced reformers, not ambitious men out of their 
own ranks, but experienced men of the old regime, 
who, so far, have done well, and have been able on 
occasions to check hasty and ill-considered changes. 
In other respects, too, the Young Turks have mani- 
fested their moderation and wise opportunism. For- 
eign intervention is the thing that they detest and 
fear most, for it has worked nothing but ill for the 



Empire; but these men are free from any anti- 
European feeling, and while anxious, as soon as 
possible, to get rid of the Capitulations and other 
fetters which the Powers have placed upon Otto- 
man independence, they welcome European assist- 
ance to place their house in order. Thus it was at 
the request of the Turkish Government that France 
lent Turkey the aid of the great financial author- 
ity, M. Laurent, to assist in the reorganisation of 
the finances of the country and the establishment 
of less wasteful methods of tax collection, and that 
England lent the services of Mr. Crawford to con- 
duct the reorganisation of the Customs. Turkey 
has also asked for, and has obtained, the services 
of an English admiral and several naval officers to 
help her recreate the navy which was destroyed 
during the Hamidian regime, and Baron von der 
Goltz, who has already done so much good for the 
Turkish army, is to be entrusted with powers that 
will enable him to bring it up to a high state of 
efficiency. The Young Turks, anxious to develop 
the great natural resources of their country, have 
also borrowed from France excellent engineers to 
superintend the construction of irrigation works and 
the execution of other useful projects. 

While what is best of the old regime still supplies 
the higher officialdom, nearly all the men belonging 
to the lower grades of the Civil Service, as I have 
already pointed out, had become adherents of the 
Committee of Union and Progress some time before 
the outbreak of the revolution. Most of these men, 



under the corrupt system that then prevailed, had 
to supplement their miserable pay, generally in 
arrears, by taking bakshish and by robbing the State 
in other ways. This general impurity of the offi- 
cialdom was loathsome to many of those who were 
compelled to follow the almost universal practice in 
order to keep themselves and their families alive. 
Minor officials knew that what was wrung from the 
people in the form of taxation was not spent for 
the country's good, but was for the most part 
appropriated by the Palace gang, and it was but 
natural that they helped themselves to a share. 
But the Turks, in their dealings between man and 
man, are among the most honest of people, and pub- 
lic sentiment regarding official corruption has been 
undergoing a remarkable change since the revolu- 
tion. The newspapers preached public purity, and 
the servants of the State began to realise that for 
the future the misappropriation of public moneys 
would not be at the cost of the Palace gang as 
heretofore, but at the cost of their beloved coun- 
try itself, which was in sore need of money to fur- 
ther its regeneration and to strengthen its defences 
against the formidable enemies that threatened its 
integrity. I have told the story of the patriotic 
civil servants in Salonica, who abandoned their 
claims to arrears of pay in view of their country's 
necessities; I am assured that the same sense of 
civic virtue has led to a remarkable diminution of 
the corrupt practices in the various public depart- 
ments. I have heard it maintained that the Turks 



cannot change their nature, and that Turkish admin- 
istration always has been, and always will be, cor- 
rupt, whether the form of government be despotic 
or constitutional. One might as fairly have argued 
thus about England's administration in India, or in 
the British Isles themselves, but a few generations 
ago. A people who, like the Turks, are honest as 
individuals, and intensely patriotic, are likely to 
arrive at the right moral sense in a matter like this. 
The Japanese, who, while being as patriotic as the 
Turks, are not remarkable for commercial probity, 
regard it as far more criminal to embezzle the coun- 
try's funds than to cheat the individual; but Japan 
is the only country which has attained this high 
ethical standard. 




IT is not within the scope of this work to deal 
with the foreign complications which followed 
the Turkish revolution. Suffice it to say that 
the annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the 
beginning of October had the effect of striking 
what might well have proved to be a deadly blow 
at the party of reform in Turkey. It was the old 
story of an ambitious Christian Power, fearing lest 
a reformed Turkey might become a strong Turkey, 
treacherously obstructing her path of progress. 
Austria's action gave the reactionaries their last 
chance of bringing back the old order of things, 
and they fully availed themselves of it. " These 
Young Turks," they were able to say to the people, 
"used the preservation of the integrity of the Em- 
pire as their watchword when they rebelled against 
the Padisha; and lo! the first thing that happens 
after they get the power is the complete separation 
from Turkey of Bosnia and Herzegovina, a declara- 
tion of independence on the part of the Bulgarians 
and a separatist movement in Crete!" These argu- 
ments produced a considerable effect upon the 
ignorant, who blamed the reformers for what had 



happened and clamoured for rulers strong enough 
to protect Turkey against her foreign foes. 

The reactionaries were wholly unscrupulous in 
their methods and were prepared to plunge their 
country into a disastrous war if by so doing they 
could restore the Despotism. Ex-spies and other 
reactionaries made demonstrations in favour of war 
with Austria in some of the mosques of the cap- 
ital; they posted placards on the walls of the city 
by night, calling upon Mussulmans to massacre 
the Christians; and everywhere they attempted to 
foment disorder so as to discredit the Young Turk 
rule as leading to a state of anarchy. But the 
Young Turks knew that the preservation of peace 
abroad and order at home was of vital importance, 
and they displayed a firmness that soon made their 
position stronger than it had ever been. 

In the first place, so as to overawe the reaction- 
ary party and the untrustworthy Yildiz soldiery, 
they garrisoned the capital with a large force of 
Macedonian troops loyal to the Constitution, who 
could be relied upon to suppress a rising in the 
firmest manner. Loyal troops were also employed 
to police the city; all reactionary assemblies were 
stopped and the agitators were cast into prison. 

The machinations of the reactionaries, however, 
produced some effect. For a considerable time 
Constantinople was in an overwrought and ner- 
vous condition, and various incidents inspired the 
Christian inhabitants with a great dread of im- 
pending peril. These Greeks, Armenians, Levan- 



tines, and others, timid of nature after their ages 
of oppression, suffered from an epidemic of panic, 
acute fits of which were daily brought about by 
very small causes. Thus, one day at about this 
time, as I was walking through the Grand Bazaar 
in Stamboul I witnessed the following incident 
which showed the jumpy condition of the popula- 
tion. A man, revolver in hand, chased by soldiers 
and others, suddenly appeared, running at full speed 
through the crowded lanes of the Bazaar. This was 
quite enough to start a panic. Like wildfire spread 
the report that the Moslem mob, stirred up by the 
Softas, had at last commenced the massacre of the 
Christians. The scene was indeed an extraordinary 
one. Men and women turned pallid, wrung their 
hands, wept and howled, and there was a general 
stampede for the shelter of the houses. People ran 
into their own or other shops, doors were bolted, 
bars were drawn, shutters were closed, and in a 
trice what had been a busy mart had become 
empty and silent as a city of the dead, and re- 
mained so until Sami Pasha, the Minister of Police, 
came down to reassure the frightened Greek and 
Armenian traders. It turned out that the origin of 
this widespread panic was merely the endeavouring 
of a vender of contrabrand tobacco to escape from 
the soldiers who had been sent to arrest him. 

On another morning the terrifying rumour spread 
from end to end of the city that the Second Division 
of the Imperial Guard, stationed at the Tashkishla 
Barracks, outside the Yildiz Palace, had mutinied 



under the leadership of the reactionaries, and were 
engaged in a sanguinary struggle with the Constitu- 
tional troops from Salonica. The facts had been 
grossly exaggerated but the incident was signifi- 
cant enough. This Second Division of the Imperial 
Guard, about seven thousand strong, including the 
Sultan's faithful Albanian Body-guard, had for its 
post the neighbourhood of the Yildiz Palace. These 
troops, officered by men risen from their own ranks, 
who protected the person of the Sultan, had been 
ever pampered and spoilt; their discipline was very 
slack, and their loyalty to the Constitution was 
doubtful. Consequently the Minister of War, who 
by virtue of a recent Irade was empowered for the 
first time to despatch the regiments of this favoured 
Division to any part of the Empire, decided to re- 
move by degrees from Constantinople some of the 
battalions of the Division and to replace them with 
loyal, well-disciplined troops from Salonica. So in 
the first place two battalions of the Yildiz Guards, 
to the great disgust of the men, were ordered to 
those disagreeable stations, the Hedjaz and Yemen, 
in distant Arabia, where they could work no mis- 
chief. Eighty-eight of the men, who had but three 
months more to serve with the colours, claimed 
their immediate discharge and clamoured to be sent 
to their homes. As this request was not granted 
they mutinied and, coming out of their barracks, 
fired upon the Salonica troops who had come to 
replace them. The fire was returned, three ser- 
geants among the mutineers were shot dead, others 



were wounded, and the remainder were captured. 
The Commandant of the Guards Corps then called 
out several regiments of the Guards, formed them 
in a hollow square, and addressed them briefly, ex- 
plaining to them that the Government, while deter- 
mined to improve the lot of all Turkish soldiers, 
would punish severely any act of indiscipline. The 
prisoners, many of whom begged for mercy, crying 
out that they had been led astray by others, were 
brought within the square, and the Commandant 
told them that they would be tried by court-mar- 
tial. The ringleaders were afterwards shot. The 
troops of the Imperial Guard on numerous previous 
occasions had displayed a similar mutinous spirit, 
but the timid authorities had always overlooked 
the most flagrant breaches of discipline and yielded 
to the clamour of the men. The prompt and firm 
action taken by the Minister of War on this occa- 
sion cut short what might have developed into a 
serious revolt, and reassured the timid civilian pop- 
ulation. It was recognised that this was no time for 
those in power to display weakness. 

The Palace troops had thus been taught a useful 
lesson, and the Committee of Union and Progress 
still further secured its position by seeing to it that 
the bulk of the Imperial Guards battalions were 
scattered in sections over different parts of the 
Empire. Moreover, the General commanding the 
Second Division, a friend of the Sultan's, was forced 
to retire from the army, and the command was given 
to an officer known to be loyal to the Constitution. 



Steps were also taken to introduce a better class of 
officers into the remaining Yildiz regiments. The 
Committee showed that it was determined to be 
the master. The General commanding the Cavalry 
Division of Guards and several other officers were 
imprisoned for agitating against the proposed super- 
session of officers who had been promoted from the 
ranks by those who had passed through the military 
academies; and other officers of the Yildiz garrison 
were severely punished for attempting to cause dis- 
affection among the rank and file in the interests of 
the reactionary party. The Committee won the 
admiration and confidence of all right-thinking men 
by the way in which it exercised its great power for 
the country's good. 

It was very interesting to be in Constantinople 
during that critical time and to watch the replace- 
ment of the old order of things by the new, to see 
constitutional government developing itself before 
one's eyes within the space of days instead of cen- 
turies. Everywhere one could contemplate the old 
and new facing each other in strong contrast, and to 
attend, as I did on the Friday following the mili- 
tary mutiny, the Selamlik in the morning and visit 
the head-quarters of the Committee of Union and 
Progress in the afternoon, was to rush, as it were, on 
Mr. Wells' "time machine," from the Middle Ages 
to the twentieth century. 

Every tourist who visits Constantinople has wit- 
nessed the Selamlik, the Sultan's procession from 
the Yildiz Palace on each Friday to worship at the 



Hamidieh Mosque, and the ceremony has been 
described many times. This particular Friday's 
ceremony had a special interest, and the spectacle 
was one to make one think. I joined the throng of 
foreigners at the gates of the Yildiz, and awaited the 
passing of the procession. Here, from the steep hill, 
there is a beautiful view which forms a wonderful 
setting to the solemn function. In the immediate 
foreground, but a couple of hundred yards or so dis- 
tant, is the white mosque itself ; to the right stretch 
the heights on which Pera stands; below is the 
gleaming Bosphorus; and beyond it are the misty 
mountains of Asia, forming a noble background to 
the scene. There was much of interest to look upon 
as one awaited the coming out of the Sultan — among 
other things the gathering of the picturesque Moslem 
crowd; the arrival of successive detachments of troops 
with bands playing and colours flying in the breeze; 
and the massing of the troops along the short line 
of route and on the open space beyond. A greater 
number of troops than usual, about eight thousand 
men, were brought out on this occasion, and after 
the ceremony they were paraded and marched to the 
Palace, at a window of which the Sultan stood and 
acknowledged their salute. I watched the troops of 
all arms march up to the Palace, the tough-looking, 
red-fezzed, blue-coated Infantry of the Line, Artil- 
lery, Cavalry, Marines, and Engineers. There were 
troops, too, from every part of the Ottoman Empire, 
including the fierce and faithful Albanians of the 
Praetorian Guard, in white uniforms fashioned after 



their national dress, with wicked-looking yataghans 
slung across their waists ; and Arabian troops in queer 
uniforms and green turbans; and they looked like 
what they indeed are, as formidable as any soldiery 
in the world when properly trained and led. It was 
a sign of the times that the first regimental band to 
arrive on the scene began to play, not the National 
Anthem, but the "March of Liberty," which had 
been composed specially for the troops of the new 
regime, and the sound of it must have been scarcely 
pleasing to some ears within the Palace walls. 

At last the muezzin from the minaret of the mosque 
chanted the call of the faithful to prayer, and the 
procession, passing through the Palace gates, slowly 
proceeded down the steep road, between the troops, 
to the entrance of the mosque, the Sultan's ap- 
proach being announced by the blowing of a trum- 
pet and the shouting by the soldiers " Padishahim 
chok yasha!" ("long live the Emperor!"). I need 
not describe the well-known scene; there were, as 
usual, the officers in gorgeous uniforms; high officials 
of the Palace and the Government, among whom 
one recognised some few of the old regime, but 
none of the notorious instruments of oppression and 
cruelty, or the corrupt advisers who had ruined 
their country (for, happily, all these had gone, some 
having fled from the people's wrath to England, 
others living under close watch on the island of 
Prinkipo, and others prisoners in the Seraskeriat) ; 
the led saddle horses; the white-veiled Mohamme- 
dan ladies of the Palace in close carriages; the 



ungainly black eunuchs walking with folded arms, not 
so insolent as of old, and no doubt fearful as to 
what might happen to them under the new regime 
which had done away with their mischievous influ- 
ence; and lastly, escorted by mounted troops, in an 
open carriage, with the Grand Vizier facing him, 
came he who is the head of the Moslem world, the 
nominal ruler of the Ottoman Empire, the Sultan 
Abdul Hamid himself, his face imperturbable as he 
acknowledged the salute and trained acclamation 
of his legionaries. But it was a procession in which 
one seemed to be looking at the shadow of that 
from which Turkey has now delivered herself; one 
felt that all this pomp was but the empty shell of 
that which is now a dead thing. 

Then, in the afternoon, I visited the head-quar- 
ters of the Young Turk party in Stamboul. Having 
crossed the Golden Horn by the Galata Bridge, and 
traversed the intricate lanes of the Grand Bazaar, 
I came to a quiet street of somewhat mean appear- 
ance, and in an unpretentious house, almost bare 
of furniture, I found the temporary meeting-place 
of the Committee of Union and Progress, the vir- 
tual Government of the Ottoman Empire. Here 
there was no pomp or ceremony; one might have 
been in the offices of some struggling architect in 
a third-rate London suburb. There was a room 
in which members of the organisation met in an 
informal manner to discuss their plans, and to put 
forth those suggestions which had to be obeyed by 
the ministers. There were other rooms in which 



men awaited their turn to have interviews with 
members of the Committee, and chambers in which 
one might carry on long conversations, as I did on 
several occasions, with courteous Young Turks 
ready to impart all such information regarding this 
wonderful movement as it was not deemed inex- 
pedient to divulge. 

I found these young Mussulmans who had freed 
Turkey quite unlike the conventional conspirators 
and revolutionaries. These were well-educated and 
thoughtful men, keen and energetic, with the light 
of resolve and great hope in their eyes betraying the 
enthusiasm which lay under their Turkish reserve 
and phlegm. The more I saw of the Young Turks 
the more I was impressed by their patriotism, their 
manliness, and their sincerity. There are naturally 
some over-confident Chauvinists in the party, but 
the bulk are men of shrewd common sense, as has 
been made manifest to the world by their modera- 
tion after victory, and their tactful methods of con- 
ducting the government of a disorganised country, 
and maintaining order throughout the Empire in the 
face of tremendous difficulties of every description. 

All the members of the Committee of Union and 
Progress with whom I came into contact, whether 
in the capital or in Salonica, whether soldiers or 
civilians, were enlightened men, most of whom had 
travelled and studied in Western Europe, and had 
assimilated what is best of Western culture. Thus 
among the civilian members of the Committee are 
men who would gain distinction in any country, such 



as Ahmed Riza, for many years the chief organiser 
of the Young Turk movement in Paris, the President 
of the Chamber; Djavid Bey, the professor; Aassim 
Bey, the strenuous editor of the Shura-i-Ummet, 
the official organ of the Committee, who took a 
leading part in preparing the revolution in Salonica; 
Rahmi Bey, a wealthy Salonican who was long in 
exile, a descendant of the Saracen warrior who con- 
quered Thessalonica from the Latins five hundred 
years ago. The military members of the Committee, 
officers of the etat-major, have passed through the 
military schools, or have been educated in France 
or Germany, and most of them, like the civilian 
members, speak foreign languages. Among them 
are distinguished men like Colonel Faik Bey, and 
Enver Bey, now the popular hero of the Turks. 
Another member of the Committee is Turkey's 
ablest artillery officer, General Hassan Riza Pasha, 
an old friend of mine in a way, for I discovered, on 
talking to him, that he was with the Epirus army 
during the Greek war, and that it was under the 
uncomfortable fire of his guns that I remained with 
the eccentric, but harmless, Greek army on the 
heights of Arta, and on one occasion narrowly 
escaped being killed by one of his shells. 




DURING the interregnum the most important 
task that had to be undertaken by the 
Committee of Union and Progress, and one 
that caused it a good deal of anxiety for a while, 
was the preparation of the country for the coming 
general election of the members of Turkey's new 
Parliament. It could not but be a dangerous exper- 
iment thus suddenly to give self-governing insti- 
tutions to the ignorant Ottoman masses, who had 
endured thirty years of the worst of despotisms. It 
would naturally take long to make the peasantry 
understand that under the new order of things tax- 
ation would not be as it was under the old, that the 
money supplied by the people would be spent in re- 
organising and developing the country to their own 
great benefit. All that they knew of taxation was 
that it had been wrung from them to enrich the rul- 
ing clique, that Constantinople swallowed up the 
huge sums which were collected in every part of the 
Empire, and that little had been done for the people. 
It was difficult to convince them that taxation could 
possibly be for their own good. To quote from an 
article which appeared at the time in a Constanti- 



nople paper: "Persuasion in this case will be of no 
avail. Acts must precede arguments. Let works of 
public utility, roads, railways, harbours, irrigation 
canals, be undertaken at once. Let the police be 
organised. Let the troops in the provinces receive 
their pay . and be given their proper clothing and 
equipment as in the capital." If they beheld these 
changes, so advantageous to themselves, the people 
would no doubt gradually lose their profound distrust 
of everything connected with the administration of 
the State and realise that the sacrifices entailed by 
taxation might mean the return to the taxpayers, 
in the form of various benefits, of ten-fold what they 
had contributed. When the elections did take place 
it was found that great numbers of the poorer and 
more ignorant peasants, though as taxpayers enti- 
tled to vote, refrained from exercising their right, 
for they suspected the needful registration of being 
in some way connected with the exaction of further 

In the meanwhile, people, prejudiced against all 
outward form of government and wholly ignorant 
of the elements of economics, suddenly found them- 
selves the free electors of a representative assembly. 
Many people looked forward to the opening of the 
Parliament with grave misgivings. It is rankest her- 
esy in these days to give utterance to such a senti- 
ment, but one could not help thinking last autumn, 
when the result of the elections was still in doubt, 
that it might have been better to have continued 
the rule of the country for some time longer through 



a Ministry selected by the Young Turk oligarchy, 
and not to have conferred self-governing institutions 
on the people until these had been to some extent 
educated by the object-lessons of good government 
presented to them — the suppression of corruption, 
the efficiency of public departments, the bringing of 
prosperity to the wasted land, the wise expenditure 
on public works. 

But it had been decreed that the Parliament 
should meet as soon as possible, so the Committee 
of Union and Progress set itself to teach the elec- 
torate the duties of citizenship, to explain to them 
what constitutional government meant, and to em- 
ploy its wide-reaching organisation to secure so 
strong a representation of its nominees in the Lower 
House as to give the Committee the control of 
affairs. The Young Turks were too wise to be over- 
confident. They realised the difficulties and dangers 
before them. They knew that the reactionaries were 
intriguing everywhere and would seize their chance 
when they got it. The Young Turks remained on 
their guard, determined that the liberty so hardly 
won should not be wrested from Turkey as it was 
in 1878, and that if the Turkish Parliament failed 
as the Russian Duma failed, it should not be to 
make way for the return of the Despotism. 

It was recognised that, far from losing its raison 
d'etre with the opening of Parliament, the Young 
Turk organisation would be needed more than ever 
for the protection of the country, and would have 
to continue its existence, with the army behind it as 



heretofore, for a long while to come. The Committee 
of Union and Progress therefore held a Congress in 
Salonica in October, at which measures were taken 
to strengthen and effect the closer knitting together 
of the Young Turk party. It was arranged that all 
the Deputies in the Turkish Parliament who were 
nominees of the Committee should pledge them- 
selves to support in its entirety the programme laid 
down by the Committee. Arrangements were made 
for the establishment of close relations between the 
Committee and the Army. The secret Central Com- 
mittee, the names of whose members are unknown 
to the outer world, was re-elected at the Congress, 
but it was decided that it should no longer have its 
head-quarters in Salonica and that it should not hold 
its meetings in Constantinople. It was to have no 
known or fixed habitation. The Young Turks, there- 
fore, apparently deemed it more necessary than ever 
that strict secrecy should be observed as to who 
their real leaders were. By this time the Commit- 
tee had largely extended its membership, its sworn 
associates numbering about seventy thousand — all 
that was best of the Ottoman manhood. 

As the result of the electoral campaign conducted 
by the Committee of Union and Progress their 
nominees are in an overwhelming majority in the 
Turkish House of Commons, voting as one man on 
all important questions. The Constitution arranged 
for the creation of a Senate, or Second Chamber, 
composed of notables selected by the Sultan. The 
Committee saw to it that the Senate should not 



become the head-quarters of reaction. It presented 
a list of names to the Sultan, who was pleased to 
appoint as Senators the persons thus suggested to 
him. A parliament, the bulk of whose members 
are sworn to obey the bidding of a secret society, 
may not be an ideal form of government; but there 
can be little doubt that it was the best possible one 
for Turkey during the early days of the new regime, 
when it was necessary for the very existence of the 
Empire that one strong and patriotic party should 
dominate the House and present a united front to 
foreign foe and home reactionary. It was no time 
for parliamentary dissensions, for the raising of deli- 
cate questions concerning the future position of the 
various races, with their conflicting aspirations, or 
for the discussion of the schemes of thorough-going 
decentralisation advocated by the too broad-minded 
theorists who would grant home rule all round to 
Turkey's various peoples. 

The Turks were novices at political combination, 
whereas the Greeks were skilled in electioneering 
trickery of every sort and were determined to obtain 
as large an electioneering representation as possible 
in Parliament. The Greeks undoubtedly entertained 
the opinion that, representing the brains and com- 
mercial wealth of Turkey, they should take a leading 
place, above all the other elements of the popula- 
tion, in the administration of the country. The 
Committee of Union and Progress was not of this 
opinion, and under its guidance the votes of the 
Mussulmans, largely supported by the Armenian 



and Jewish vote, secured the ascendency of the 
ruling race in Parliament. 

It is a fortunate thing for Turkey that the peo- 
ple who conquered this land will still maintain their 
political supremacy under the Constitution. The sit- 
uation would be a dangerous one, indeed, were the 
Greek vote ever to swamp that of the Mussulmans at 
the elections. Another revolution, not of so blood- 
less a character as the last, would be the probable 
result. It is obvious that for the Caliph, the head 
of the Mussulman faith, to be under the direction of 
a Christian Government would be intolerable to the 
millions of fanatical Moslem subjects of the Porte 
in Asia, who already regard the Constitution with 
great suspicion. It is absurd to suppose, too, that 
the Young Turk party and the Mussulman Turkish 
army have overthrown despotism only to hand over 
the rule of the country to what, for centuries, have 
been the subject races. The Turks hold the incon- 
sistent, but perfectly justifiable, point of view that 
all Ottomans, of whatever race and creed, shall have 
equal rights, but that the predominance of the Mus- 
sulman Turks must be safeguarded. This may not 
be logic, but it is common sense. 

The opinions and misgivings of the Young Turks, 
while the elections were in progress, were expressed 
as follows, in an article which appeared in one of 
their organs in the capital: "The Mussulman ele- 
ment is the one which, above all others, works to 
maintain the Empire's safety and integrity. The 
other elements have, more or less, other ends in 



view. If we now deliver the government of the 
country into the hands of the non-Mussulmans, 
who can suppose that these would have Ottoman 
interests as their one aim? It is evident, therefore, 
that under present conditions, if we wish to safe- 
guard our national existence, we must keep the gov- 
ernment in our own hands, and be on the watch lest 
the other elements snatch it from us. But it must 
not be gathered from the opinions which we have 
thus expressed that we intend to refuse to place the 
other elements on the same footing of equality as 
the Mussulman element — that we wish to deprive 
them of their political rights. To make sure of a 
majority in the Parliament is a question of life and 
death for the Turks. It will not do for us to take 
it for granted that the Turks are certain to obtain a 
majority in Parliament because they compose a ma- 
jority of the population. We state it with regret, 
that the bulk of the Mussulmans, not realising the 
importance of the elections, have not even taken 
the trouble to vote, and that those who have voted 
have not come to an understanding with each other, 
and have, therefore, failed to send an adequate 
number of Deputies to the Chamber. It would be 
interesting to know what line of action we ought to 
adopt if we found ourselves in a Chamber contain- 
ing a majority of non-Mussulman Deputies. The 
laws made by such a Chamber would not favour 
the dominant element. Let us suppose, for exam- 
ple, that the Greeks were in a strong majority in 
the Ottoman Parliament, and that the question of 



the annexation of Crete to Greece was under discus- 
sion. How many Greek Deputies would disapprove 
of that annexation? And again, if the Bulgarians 
had the majority, what would happen to Macedo- 
nia? The Turks, who conquered the country at the 
cost of a great sacrifice, have proved that, with 
regard to the position of the other elements, they 
are guided by the sentiments of equality, justice, 
and liberty, but they will not tolerate the formation 
of a State within a State. Our non-Mussulman 
compatriots, who desire to live as brothers with the 
Mussulmans, must calmly examine their hearts and 
consciences. Let them have the courage to tear 
from their hearts all ideas — if they entertain such 
— which are prejudicial to the interests of the Turk- 
ish rule, and let them, without fear, throw them- 
selves into our arms. They have nothing to fear 
from us; all that is asked of them is that they make 
us believe in their sincerity. But, whatever may 
be said in this country, it is the Turks who com- 
pose, and who will always compose, the dominant 

The Committee, therefore, set itself diligently to 
work to secure the ascendency of its adherents in 
Parliament. It selected as its nominees the best 
men it could find, who commanded the respect of 
the people, for the most part professional men in 
towns, and landed proprietors in the country; and 
it undertook the education of the voters in the 
exercise of their new privileges. It sent missionaries 
throughout the country to preach the cause of the 



Constitution, and to confute the arguments of the 
reactionary agents. It founded schools of political 
instruction in the villages. Its lecturers addressed 
attentive crowds in city streets. Even the theatres 
were used for the dissemination of political doctrines, 
and both in Constantinople and Salonica I attended 
plays written with the object of showing the horrors 
of the Despotism and the blessings of liberty under 
constitutional government. 

One night I visited a Turkish theatre in Pera, 
where a company of amateurs — Young Turks, sev- 
eral of whom were officers in the army, whilst the 
others had either recently been released from prison 
or had returned from exile — presented a patriotic 
play entitled "The Awakening of Turkey." In this 
remarkable play, though fictitious names appeared 
on the programme, nearly all the characters imper- 
sonated were well-known men, creatures of the Pal- 
ace, reformers, and others, and whenever an actor 
appeared on the scene so good was his make-up 
that the audience at once knew who was intended, 
and received him with warm applause or cries and 
groans of execration, as the case might be. The 
play opened with a sort of prologue — "the Pasha's 
dream." The curtain rose and disclosed a room in 
which a white-bearded old man was sleeping in an 
arm-chair. He was recognised by the audience as a 
well-known victim of the Despotism. The Pasha, 
as he slept, dreamt a vivid dream, which now un- 
folded itself before us. The back of the room faded 
away, and we looked into the interior of a luxuriously 



furnished chamber in the Yildiz Palace. And here, 
in dumb show, were enacted before us some of the 
evil doings of the Camarilla that is no more. There 
we saw, made up to the life, the Sultan's hated secre- 
tary, Izzet Pasha, and to judge from his reception 
by the audience he is safer in his English house 
than he would be in Constantinople. There, too, 
were the Sultan's aged astrologer, Abdul Houda, and 
other Court favourites. Spies came in with lists of 
denounced reformers, and orders for execution or 
for the oubliette were signed. The tyrants bethought 
themselves to seek recreation in the intervals of 
their cruel business, so the hideous and fawning 
black eunuchs were ordered to bring in a troupe of 
beautiful Armenian dancing girls. A young Turk in 
chains was led in, tortures were applied to him in 
vain to wring from him the betrayal of his associ- 
ates; so he was put to death there and then by the 
Court executioner, in the presence of his wife, who 
was on her knees imploring for mercy, and frantic 
with grief, while the callous Court favourites, with 
scarce a side glance at the bloody deed, continued 
to gaze with gloating eyes at the dance of the slave 
girls. Then a messenger came in with news that 
was evidently of importance. He opened the box 
which he had brought with him, and to the joy of 
the courtiers drew out the bleeding head of the 
murdered Midhat Pasha. 

Then the vision faded away, and the Pasha awoke 
from his nightmare. It had deeply affected him, 
and in a long speech he announced his intention of 



fleeing from Turkey to Paris in order that he might 
help to organise the revolution by which Turkey 
must be saved. His son entered, was delighted to 
hear the Pasha's resolve, and agreed to accompany 
him. The scenes of the play itself were laid in 
Paris. We heard plots being arranged by spies in 
the Turkish Embassy in the French capital, and saw 
them circumvented by an attache of the Embassy, 
who happened to be a secret adherent of the Young 
Turk party. We witnessed the deathbed of the 
Pasha, who had abandoned wife and property for the 
sake of his country, and who, in a long speech, urged 
his son to persevere in the good work. We were 
taken to a Mussulman burial ground, where an elo- 
quent funeral oration was delivered over the remains 
of the dead patriot, and we witnessed his apotheosis 
when angels bore him upwards to Paradise. The 
final scene represented a somewhat extraordinary 
entertainment at the Turkish Embassy, where a good 
deal of champagne was being drunk; suddenly, in 
rushed a newsboy carrying a poster announcing the 
proclamation of the Constitution; and the curtain 
dropped on the group of revelling spies, now over- 
whelmed with fear and consternation. 

It was a gloomy play, mainly made up of long and 
earnest monologues, lit up occasionally with flashes 
of grim humour, but its effect upon the audience 
was extraordinary. The actors who represented 
the friends of liberty delivered, with great oratorical 
power, eloquent speeches, in which they preached the 
righteousness of the cause, and the beauty of sacri- 



fice of self for the fatherland. They swayed the 
audience as they willed; for these were not merely 
clever actors who felt their parts, but men who had 
done, and were still doing, in real life, the things 
that they represented upon the stage. The audi- 
ence hung upon their words, warmly applauded the 
patriotic sentiments, and showed their detestation of 
the tyrants and their pity for the sufferers. There 
were tears in the eyes of many men present, to 
whom, no doubt, the play recalled bitter memories. 
The audience was mostly exclusively composed of 
Mussulman Turks — soldiers, theological students, 
turbanned hodjas, and others. In the higher-priced 
seats were many officers of the army and navy, and 
two near relatives of the Sultan were in the boxes. 




FOR some time before the elections for the 
Turkish Parliament took place, the Com- 
mittee of Union and Progress was at great 
pains to explain its programme as fully and clearly 
as was possible to the people. From the articles 
which appeared in the newspapers of the party and 
the conversations which could be had without diffi- 
culty with members of the Committee one was able 
to form a fairly complete conception of the principal 
aims of the reformers. The title of the Committee, 
" Union and Progress," well sums up these aims. 
Turkey is to be made strong and free, respected 
by the nations, first by union — by the union of 
all natives of Turkey of whatsoever creed or race. 
They are to enjoy equal rights. No advantage is 
to be given to any religion. The Young Turks 
announced that this tolerance was not to be merely 
a passive one, that where Christian populations had 
no churches or schools these would be provided for 
them at the expense of the State, and that in these 
schools the teaching of such national languages as 
Albanian or Servian would be permitted. In the 
second place, Turkey is to be made strong by prog- 



ress — the regeneration of a people whose energies 
have been sterilised by a long oppression, the res- 
toration of prosperity to an impoverished land. The 
people are to be educated, and the vast resources 
of the country are to be developed. 

Instead of dreaming of impossible social reforms, 
the Young Turks have very practical ends in view. 
In the first place, they recognise that it is essential 
to the existence of Turkey that she should possess 
a strong army, as otherwise her very progress may 
prove her ruin, arousing the cupidity of those of her 
neighbours who have already divided among them 
so much of her rich land. So Turkey, having no 
desire to sow that others may reap, is determined to 
create an army equal in strength to that of any 
of the great military Powers. To possess such 
an army the Turks are prepared to make great sacri- 
fices. The exemption from conscription enjoyed by 
certain cities and districts will be withdrawn grad- 
ually. The Moslems will no longer bear the whole 
burden of the conscription; for the future the Chris- 
tians also will have to serve in the army, and the 
view of the Turkish Generals with whom I have 
spoken is that there should be no formation of 
exclusively Moslem or exclusively Christian regi- 
ments, but that men of different creeds should be 
mingled in each unit. The Greeks, who want all 
the rights of Ottoman citizenship without its obli- 
gations, entertain a strong objection to service in 
the Turkish army. 

But Turkey cannot maintain a great army without 



money, and money she can only obtain by develop- 
ing her vast mineral and agricultural resources with 
foreign capital. Under the old regime, Court in- 
trigue made all industrial enterprise precarious, and 
foreign capitalists were chary of ventures in a coun- 
try where rights of property were so insecure. But 
by means of the good government which the Young 
Turks are introducing they hope to gain the confi- 
dence of foreign investors. They realise that, to 
quote from a Constantinople paper, " Turkey can- 
not have reform without money or money without 
reform; foreign capital she must have in order to 
carry out the reforms, and foreign capital will not 
come in until there is a satisfactory assurance that 
the reforms will be carried out, that the money pro- 
vided will be spent properly and not be stolen and 
wasted as it was under the old regime." 

The programme of the more necessary reforms 
was set forth with some detail by the press of the 
Young Turk party during its electioneering cam- 
paign, and the abolition of the old corrupt sys- 
tem of administration, whereby bribery and bakshish 
had to supplement the inadequate pay — often years 
in ' arrears — of the servants of the State, was of 
course insisted upon. The following are among the 
more important of the projects recommended by 
the Young Turk party: (1) The construction of 
many thousands of miles of roads to open out the 
country; at the present time some of the railway 
lines are of very little service, as roads to bring to 
them the produce of the neighbouring country at 



moderate cost are wanting. (2) The construction 
of four thousand kilometres of railway; certain rail- 
ways are urgently needed if the enormous mineral 
wealth of the country is to be developed by for- 
eign capital; the difficulties of transport now pro- 
hibit mining enterprise in most richly mineralised 
districts. (3) The bringing under cultivation again 
of the formerly productive arable districts in the 
Vilayets of Salonica, Smyrna, etc. (4) The construc- 
tion of commercial ports at Dedeaghatch, Samsoun, 
Mersina, etc. (5) The construction of irrigation 
works in Mesopotamia and elsewhere; there are 
thousands of square miles of uncultivated land in 
Turkey only awaiting irrigation to make them ex- 
ceedingly productive. (6) The engaging of French 
engineers to make navigable waterways of the Var- 
dar, Maritza, Boyana, and Kizil-Irmak. (7) The 
foundation of an engineering college, coupled with 
a scheme for sending students who have gained 
diplomas to Europe to gain practical knowledge. 
(8) The formation of navigation, commercial, and 
industrial companies, with the object of forwarding 
the prosperity of the country. 

It is outside the scope of this book to deal with 
the complicated question of Turkey's financial posi- 
tion, which, according to the experts, is not so un- 
satisfactory as was at first supposed; but there are, 
of course, immense difficulties to be overcome before 
Turkey can see herself fairly started on the road of 
progress. The late regime burdened her with obli- 
gations which stand in the way of all attempts at 



reform; but these obstacles might be removed by 
the co-operation of the Powers interested. When- 
ever some measure for Turkey's good is proposed 
there seems to jump up some capitulation or some 
privileged interest of one Power or another to block 
it hopelessly. The Baghdad Railway concession, for 
example, with its kilometric guarantee, is like a 
mill-stone round the neck of Turkey. 

The Young Turks recognized that if their country 
was to be regenerated and to take its place among 
the nations the revenues would have to be greatly 
increased with the least possible delay. As to ways 
and means, the following may be taken as summing 
up some of the views which I heard expressed by 
Turks and others whose opinion carries weight. In 
the first place (in view of the attitude taken by 
the more ignorant Parliamentary electors, who main- 
tained that under the Constitution no taxes could 
be demanded of them) it may be impolitic to make 
any increase in the direct taxation of the country. 
The people, however, should be compelled to pay 
such direct taxes as are now in force until some 
better system has been devised, and the persons — 
and they are numerous — who by exercise of undue 
influence or otherwise have succeeded in avoiding 
the payment of their taxes should be forced to con- 
tribute like the others. 

It is held, however, that whereas the direct taxes 
should be left as they are, reforms being made in the 
method of collection, several new sources of reve- 
nue could be tapped in the way of indirect taxation. 



In the first place, all the existing methods of raising 
indirect taxation should be maintained in their in- 
tegrity, while the revenue derived from them should 
be largely increased by administrative reforms. For 
example, it has been calculated that the reorganisa- 
tion of the Turkish Customs under the advice of 
the English expert, Mr. Crawford, will increase the 
revenue derived from the Customs by twenty -five per 
cent. Thinking men in Turkey recommend, not 
only the maintenance of the existing Customs tariff 
and other methods of indirect taxation, but also the 
imposition of still heavier taxation of this description 
until Turkey has been extricated from her present 
financial difficulties; and they also favour the crea- 
tion of several new monopolies, to be preceded, 
naturally, by an amelioration in the conditions of the 
existing tobacco, salt, and other monopolies. 

The very mention of monopolies is shocking to 
most economists, but political economy is not an 
exact science, and there are many exceptions even 
to the most widely accepted of its rules. Turkey 
must have money. The foreign capital necessary 
to develop her resources hesitates to come in, wait- 
ing to see its security. A monopoly affords that 
security and tempts capital as nothing else will. The 
English business men to whom I spoke in Turkey 
regarded the granting of monopolies for compara- 
tively short terms as expedient under the present 
conditions in Turkey; for not only does this foster- 
ing of large industries provide employment for many 
people, but — what is of the utmost importance to 



Turkey at the present moment — it will also bring to 
the Turkish Government, without any expenditure 
on its part, an immediate and considerable revenue. 

As the time for the Parliamentary elections drew 
near the Committee of Union and Progress published 
its political programme, and to this all candidates 
who were nominees of the Committee were bound 
to adhere. The following were among the more 
important of the Committee's demands: that the 
Cabinet should be responsible to the Chamber of 
Deputies; that Turkish should remain the official 
language of the Empire; that the different races 
should have equal rights; that non-Moslems should 
be liable to military service; that the term of mili- 
tary service should be reduced; that peasants who 
had no land should be assisted to procure land, but 
not at the expense of the present land-owners; that 
education should be free and compulsory. 

It was deeply interesting to be in Turkey during 
the elections, to watch the Young Turks zealously 
conducting their campaign to serve what they con- 
sidered to be their country's interests, and the peo- 
ple themselves puzzling out the meaning of this new 
Western innovation, the Constitution, and balancing 
the arguments of rival canvassers. The representa- 
tives of the Committee of Union and Progress were 
prepared to discuss patiently the intentions of the 
party with any group of electors that came to con- 
sult them, and while promising concessions to just 
demands, they did not attempt to catch votes by 
making wild promises which could never be fulfilled. 



Thus, when the Armenians — who have proved their 
loyalty to the Constitution and have not harassed the 
Government with unjustifiable grievances — asked 
that the lands which had been taken from the 
Armenians by the Kurds should be returned to the 
rightful owners, the Committee, realising that in 
practical politics there must be a law of prescrip- 
tion even for the raider, and not wishing to have a 
Kurd question added to the numerous other diffi- 
culties which were confronting Turkey, suggested 
that it would be wiser to leave the turbulent Kurds 
in possession of what they seized some time ago 
and to compensate the Armenians by giving them 
at least equally good lands in the once productive 
tracts which have long been lying fallow and de- 
serted. On the other hand, the Committee could 
not assent to the proposal of the Arabians that the 
use of the Arab tongue should be permitted in the 
debates of the Chamber of Deputies. To Chris- 
tians of all sects it promised that there would be 
no interference with their churches, language, edu- 
cation, and laws of marriage and inheritance; but 
refused to consider the question of complete admin- 
istrative decentralisation, or of autonomy, for any 
portion of the Empire. 

On the other hand, the agents of the reactionary 
party — the party of those who had fattened under 
the old regime of plunder and were loth to see the 
profitable abuses swept away — worked hard to in- 
fluence the electors, but apparently with little effect 
in European Turkey and Asia Minor. Certain fool- 



ish agitators who were infected with some of the 
socialistic doctrines of Western Europe unwittingly 
helped the cause of the reactionaries by raising the 
election cry of "No more taxes for the people" 
and "Down with all monopolies." I have explained 
that the more ignorant people thought that with the 
suppression of the late regime there would be an 
end of all authority. When they were enlightened 
on this matter by the Young Turks, and discovered 
that they would be compelled to pay their taxes 
as heretofore they felt some disappointment, and 
this afforded an opportunity to the reactionaries to 
point out to them that they would be no better off 
under the Constitution than they had been before, 
and that, at any rate, Turkey, under the old 
regime, had been a Mussulman State, whereas under 
the new order of things the government would be in 
the hands of bad Mohammedans, Christians, and 

In Arabia and in other parts of Asia the efforts 
of the friends of the old regime, as might be 
expected, were attended with some success. The 
fanatical Arabs, who have never been reconciled to 
the Turkish rule, were impressed by the preachings 
of those who in the mosques denounced the Consti- 
tution, and declared that the Turks, who had ever 
been indifferent Mussulmans, had now abandoned 
the essential doctrines of Islam and were worse 
than the Christians and Jews with whom they 

But with the other races of the Empire it was still 



— in those early days of liberty — harmony, frater- 
nisation, and enthusiasm; the racial and religious 
differences appeared to be forgotten for a while ; one 
read of elections in which Christians were voting for 
Mussulman candidates or Mussulmans for Christian 
candidates. The optimistic Minister of the Inte- 
rior, Haki Bey, made the following statement: "In 
our Parliament there will be no Turkish, Armenian, 
Greek, or Jew Deputies; they will all be Ottoman 
Deputies." If one judged from the appearance of 
the surface one would have concluded that the pro- 
claimed ideal of the Young Turk party — the union 
of people of all races and creeds within the Empire 

— was in a fair way to being realised. 

The Turkish election law — which is now being 
revised — defines so vaguely the qualifications for a 
voter that a good deal of misunderstanding arose. 
Thus the Greek farmers in Epirus clamoured for 
the franchise, which had been denied to them on 
the ground that they were not taxpayers, the tithes 
being paid, not by them, but by the owners of the 
land. The Greeks maintained that, as this tax is 
calculated on the produce of the soil and not on the 
rent paid, the farmers were virtually the taxpayers 
and therefore entitled to vote. To decide what 
constituted a taxpayer in the eyes of the election 
law must have puzzled the brains of many a Turk- 
ish official at this time, especially when he had be- 
fore him some cunning and plausibly argumentative 
Greek, determined to have his vote by hook or by 
crook. In an amusing case which was brought before 



my notice an importunate person was allowed to 
vote in his capacity as a taxpayer, though the only 
proof that he was such lay in the fact that he had 
on his back a coat made of a foreign cloth, which, 
if not smuggled, must have contributed to taxa- 
tion in the form of Customs duties as it entered the 
country. The Turkish equivalents to English revis- 
ing barristers had plenty of work to do in all the 
constituencies between Macedonia and Baghdad. It 
reminded one pleasingly of England to read of these 
things; but there were differences to be noticed here 
and there between the British and Turkish frame of 
mind during a General Election. For example, the 
Turkish electorate appears to be somewhat more 
exacting than the English, and it was announced 
that at Gumuldjina the imams, carrying the sacred 
banners from the mosques, assembled with ten thou- 
sand Mohammedans in front of the Municipality, to 
protest against the nomination as parliamentary can- 
didates of "obscure and undistinguished individuals." 

The following are the more important features 
of the electoral regulations under the existing law. 
The elections are quadrennial. Roughly speaking 
fifty thousand voters are represented by one mem- 
ber of Parliament. There are two classes of electors ; 
each group of about five hundred electors of the 
first class selects an elector of the second class, and 
the electors of the second class nominate and elect 
the Deputies. The following are among the qualifi- 
cations for the franchise: An elector must be a male 
Ottoman subject, over twenty -five years of age; he 



must be a payer of direct taxes; he must have lived 
a year in the district in which he exercises his right 
of voting, and must produce a certificate from the 
moukhtar of his former place of domicile showing 
that he is entitled to vote; employes of the State 
and officers in the army, from the rank of lieuten- 
ant upwards, have the right to vote in whatever 
electoral districts they may happen to be during the 
elections; soldiers on furlough can vote in their own 
districts. A man is disqualified from voting if he 
has been condemned for a crime, if he is an undis- 
charged bankrupt, if his character is notoriously 
bad, if he is acting as servant to another indi- 
vidual, if he has represented himself as being of 
other than Ottoman nationality. A Deputy must 
be over thirty years of age, must know the Turkish 
language, and must possess the qualifications of an 
elector. A good many of these regulations were not 
insisted on rigidly at the recent elections; for ex- 
ample, there are several Deputies who cannot speak 

The electoral laws provide heavy punishments for 
those who employ violence, intimidation, or corrup- 
tion at elections. By Article 72 of the Constitution 
the penalty for influencing elections by false state- 
ments and calumnies is a fine of forty pounds and a 
period of imprisonment of from one year up to five 
years, according to the gravity of the offence; so it 
would be a dangerous thing in Turkey for partisans 
to post the walls with cartoons such as those which 
have exerted no small influence at General Elections 



in England. Another curious regulation, the object 
of which is to prevent rioting, compels the elector to 
return to his home as soon as he has registered his 
vote. It is also laid down that electors, before they 
drop their voting papers into the urn, must attend 
the prayers of the imam (or priest in the case of a 
Christian voter) for the prolongation of the Sultan's 
life and the increase of his glory. 

In the late autumn, throughout the Turkish Em- 
pire, the elections took place. Turks, Albanians, 
Greeks, Bulgarians, Serbs, Wallachs, Armenians, 
Jews, Latins, Arabs, Syrians, Kurds, Druses, elected 
their Deputies to a Chamber which represents so 
many races, interests, creeds, and languages that 
Turkey's new Parliament in all probability would 
have been a Babel of vain talk and no doing had 
it not been that the cause of the Committee of 
Union and Progress triumphed in European Turkey 
and in Anatolia, and secured many adherents in 
other parts of the Empire, with the result that the 
nominees of the Committee formed a large majority 
in the Chamber. 

I was in Constantinople during the election oper- 
ations, and very interesting and picturesque they 
were. On the night preceding the polling the big 
drums were beating loudly in the Turkish quarters 
of the capital to remind the electors that it was 
their duty as good citizens of a free country to go 
on the morrow to the appointed places and drop 
their voting papers in the ballot boxes. On the fol- 
lowing morning the great city presented a very ani- 

273 ' 


mated appearance. Large processions were formed 
to carry with due ceremony the urns, or ballot 
boxes, to the various mosques, Greek and Armenian 
churches, synagogues, police stations, and other pub- 
lic buildings, in which the voting was to take place. 
A typical Mussulman procession which passed me 
was composed as follows : First came a military band 
and a small escort of infantry; next a carriage 
draped with Turkish flags, containing the voting 
urn and a few officials; lastly, a motley Mussulman 
crowd of voters and others, including imams, accom- 
panied by theological students, pupils of the artil- 
lery and naval academies and numbers of happy 
school children, conspicuous among which was a 
band of tiny Moslem girls, wearing veils and wav- 
ing miniature Turkish flags as they toddled along 
by the side of some tall gendarmes who brought up 
the rear of the procession. This and the other pro- 
cessions which I met moved through the crowded 
streets to the accompaniment of martial music, the 
singing of patriotic songs, occasional cheers for lib- 
erty and justice, and the waving of many flags. 
These were, indeed, the most good-humoured and 
happiest election demonstrations one remembers to 
have seen in any country; there were no party cries 
or manifestions of party feelings of any sort; all 
seemed to be thinking of the good of their country 
alone, and to be rejoicing in its liberation. The 
Greeks and Armenians had similar processions, also 
headed by military bands (for these had been lent 
to all sections of the electorate by the authorities), 



and here, too, the priestly element was largely rep- 
resented. At one manifestation which I saw in 
Stamboul the Turk and Armenian electors joined 
forces, and there were to be seen in the combined 
procession Mussulman hodjas and Armenian priests 
in their full Mohammedan and Christian canoni- 
cals, walking hand in hand in amity. For a while 
good-fellowship reigned everywhere in this city of 
rival creeds and races. To judge from appearances 
it might have been concluded that "Fraternity," 
which has been the watchword of all revolutions, 
has for the first time in history been brought about 
in Turkey, of all countries in the world. 

But when the voting commenced it was made 
manifest that the brotherhood of creeds and races 
in Turkey had not yet been realised. The Turks, 
Armenians, Latins, Syrians, and Jews recorded their 
votes without any difficulties arising, and in many 
instances voted for the same candidates. But the 
Greeks, who, according to the (Ecumenical Patri- 
arch, number one hundred and fifty thousand in 
Constantinople, created a good deal of disturbance, 
after the manner of their brethren in Athens on 
similar occasions. In many parts of Turkey the 
Greeks complained bitterly of the electoral irregu- 
larities which, so they alleged, had been committed 
at their expense, and rioting occurred in Smyrna and 
elsewhere. So the Greeks in the capital, protesting 
that they had been very badly treated, organised 
noisy demonstrations which caused the elections to 
occupy several more days than had been intended. 



The polling opened on a Friday, and it was made 
evident that the Greeks had come into the streets 
on the lookout for trouble. It was noticeable that 
when a man of another race was not permitted to 
register his vote on account of some irregularity in 
his papers or other disqualification, he went away 
quietly, whereas the Greeks in like circumstances 
stayed to protest and bluster until they formed 
crowds of disappointed voters who blocked the way 
to the urns, and by so doing considerably delayed 
the course of the election. On the following morn- 
ing the Greek leaders hurried about Pera collecting 
the people, and ordered all the Greek shop-keepers to 
close their shops, which they promptly did. Others 
got into the belfries of the Greek churches and rang 
the bells violently to summon the crowds, and soon 
the main streets were packed with excited and 
clamouring men. Seeing that they practically all 
carried revolvers and knives it is wonderful that but 
few accidents occurred throughout the demonstra- 
tion. The authorities took due precautions. Cer- 
tain points were occupied by troops, and bodies of 
cavalry and infantry patrolled the streets, in no way 
interfering with the demonstration, but awing the 
demonstrators by their very presence, for the inhabi- 
tants of Constantinople knew of what stuff are 
made these soldiers who trooped slowly by, silent, 
stolid, apparently indifferent to all that was going 
on around them, in striking contrast to the noisy 
rabble which gave way before them. On the Sun- 
day the church bells again rang out their appeal, 



and thirty thousand Greeks having assembled in 
Pera marched through Galata, crossed the Golden 
Horn by the bridge of boats and came to the Sub- 
lime Porte, where they insisted that the Grand Viz- 
ier himself, Kiamil Pasha, should come out to speak 
to them. When that aged statesman did appear 
to explain that full justice would be done to them 
by Parliament should they be able to show that 
the alleged irregularities had occurred, these peo- 
ple, who but a few months before were afraid to 
open their mouths if any representative of the 
dreaded Government was near, insulted Kiamil 
Pasha by shouting out to him that his verbal assur- 
ances would not suffice for them, and that they 
must have his undertaking in writing. This atti- 
tude, of course, brought the conference to an end, 
and the Grand Vizier retired. It became necessary 
later to employ the cavalry to clear the streets, but, 
wonderful to say, only two casualties, and these 
slight ones, were reported for this day. The troops 
displayed a great forbearance and behaved admi- 
rably under conditions calculated to try their temper. 

Observing the indignation and distress of the 
Greeks, one would have supposed that they had 
been very badly treated. As a matter of fact their 
clamour was chiefly caused by disappointment at 
the failure of their scheme to obtain a much larger 
representation in Parliament than their numbers 
warranted. Their point of view was that the Greek 
element of the Turkish population, being the most 
civilised and cultured, was the best fitted to under 



take the Government of the country, and, being 
Greeks, they considered that any means were fair 
which could forward their aim. The Greeks are 
the only people in Turkey who understand elec- 
tion trickery, and they were assisted in their recent 
campaign by clever and, of course, absolutely un- 
scrupulous electioneering experts from Athens. Tak- 
ing advantage of the ignorance of the lower class 
Moslems they obtained votes by various fraudulent 
devices and misrepresentation. The Greeks flocked 
to the polls whether they were entitled to a vote or 
not. Impersonation both of the living and the dead 
was largely practised. In Turkey, each voter, on 
coming up to the voting place, has to show his 
hamidieh — the official paper testifying to Ottoman 
nationality and date of birth. It was discovered 
that Greeks not entitled to the vote had been pro- 
vided with the hamidiehs of dead men and of peo- 
ple who had left the country. In some cases, too, 
the stamps which are impressed upon the hamidiehs 
to show that the vote has been registered had been 
erased, thus enabling an hamidieh to be used by a 
succession of would-be voters. 

The Greeks would now be represented by a 
powerful party in the Turkish Parliament had not 
the Committee of Union and Progress kept a close 
watch on them during the elections. The Greeks 
have themselves to blame for the under-represen- 
tation of which they now complain. They com- 
pelled the Committee to exercise an influence in the 
elections which, though technically unfair, was fully 



justified by the circumstances. The liberty so 
recently won had to be safeguarded by the return 
of a solid majority of patriotic Turks to the Cham- 
ber of Deputies. 

The Greeks, gifted as they are with administra- 
tive capacity, held high appointments under the old 
regime, and will no doubt do so to a greater extent 
under a constitutional Government; but as a people 
they have yet to prove themselves loyal Ottomans. 
During the elections their one thought was for the 
interests of their own race. Headed by the (Ecu- 
menical Patriarch, they demanded the maintenance 
of all the privileges that had been granted to them 
from the time of the Turkish conquest. The Mos- 
lems have had to give up their special rights, but 
the Greeks refused to surrender a single one of 
their privileges for the sake of Ottoman unity. The 
Greeks chatter about liberty, equality, and frater- 
nity, but their aim is to secure to themselves ad- 
vantages over the other Christian peoples; and the 
Patriarchate, the most cruel and intolerant ecclesi- 
astical tyranny remaining in the world, makes use 
of "liberty" to increase its persecutions of the ex- 
archists and other schismatics. In the ranks of the 
reactionaries are to be found many Greeks who 
profited much by the Despotism whose parasites 
they were. A large number of the Greeks in Tur- 
key still cling to their separatist aspirations. Even 
as I write this the Greeks in Macedonia are break- 
ing the peace which the Young Turks brought to 
that long harassed land; for large Greek bands are 



once more in the field, with no shadow of a griev- 
ance as their excuse for brigandage this time, but 
agitating for various things, including the annexa- 
tion of Crete to Greece. If the great Powers would 
act together and let it be clearly understood that 
under no conceivable circumstances will Greece be 
permitted to annex another foot of Ottoman terri- 
tory, the Greeks in Turkey might become the use- 
ful citizens of a united country; for they, like all 
the other peoples in European Turkey, would pre- 
fer even a Hamidian despotism to the domination 
of Germany, Austria, or Russia. 




ON December 17 Abdul Hamid drove through 
the streets of his capital between cheering 
crowds to open the Turkish Parliament. 
The scene has been often described, and it is un- 
necessary here to relate again the events of that 
memorable day. That night I sailed through the 
Dardanelles, and on either side of me, on the shores 


of both Europe and Asia, every little town and vil- 
lage and the anchored fleets of fishing craft in the 
harbours were brightly illuminated; isolated farm- 
houses on snowy hillsides had their windows full of 
lights; fires blazed on many a lonely peak; and so it 
was all along the shores of Turkey from the Adriatic 
and the /Egean to the Black Sea and the shores 
of the Persian Gulf. It was a day and a night of 
rejoicing, and so contagious was the sincere enthu- 
siasm that even the most cynical foreigner in the 
land had not the heart to speak otherwise than 
hopefully of the future of this freed country. 

Some months have passed since that winter's 
day. As might have been expected, things have 
not gone altogether smoothly in Turkey, and there 
have been reports of internal dissensions that have 
puzzled and alarmed the English well-wishers of the 



new regime. As regards the open rebellions against 
the Government that have occurred in various por- 
tions of the Empire, no one imagined that the proc- 
lamation of a Constitution would suddenly bring 
peace, once and for all, to restless races that have 
been fighting and raiding for centuries. The com- 
plete pacification of these regions cannot but be a 
work of time. The lawless Albanian tribes are again 
carrying on their organised brigandage, even in that 
Dibra district where Niazi Bey's propaganda had 
been so wholly successful; the Northern Albanians 
are agitating for autonomy, even as they were thirty 
years ago when I wandered through their highlands; 
Turkish troops, even as I am writing this, are de- 
fending Armenians against raiding Kurds; 1 risings 
of fanatical Arabs in Arabia are being suppressed; 
and the Greek bands are once more troubling Mace- 
donia. These are unfortunate happenings, but with 
a Government that combines firmness with justice 
and patience, this lawless state of things will disap- 
pear; and it must be remembered that sheer love of 
fighting and raiding rather than political disaffection 
is the cause of some of these disturbances. These 
revolts and raids had become almost chronic com- 
plaints under the old regime; the world is now watch- 
ing Turkey; events that would have passed almost 
unnoticed a year ago are reported in the European 
press, and their importance is naturally overrated 
by those who read of them. 

1 This was written before the counter-revolution and the terrible massa- 
cre of Armenians that followed it. 



But the political dissensions among the Turks 
themselves — which have been much embittered of 
late — are more alarming to the friends of Turkey 
than are any of these risings of lawless peoples. 
This is no time for the patriotic element to be 
divided against itself, and it behooves the Young 
Turks to present a solid and united front to the 
many external and internal enemies of Turkey's 
liberty and the Empire's integrity. The Commit- 
tee of Union and Progress, the deliverer of Turkey 
from the Despotism, has enemies in the land who 
are unsparing and unscrupulous in their attacks, 
and most cunning in their intriguings. The anom- 
alous position of the organisation has naturally 
invited some honest criticism. Almost immediately 
after the proclamation of the Constitution, not only 
reactionary Turks and politicians jealous of the 
Young Turk party, but also European friends of 
Turkey, including certain British diplomatists and 
a section of the Press that voices their views, began 
to urge that the Committee, its work having been 
accomplished, no longer had a raison d'etre and 
should be dissolved at once. It was pointed out 
that an irresponsible power behind the Parliament 
was unconstitutional, and that the Committee, with 
its unknown leaders, had become an illegal institu- 
tion now that Turkey had been granted represent- 
ative government. 

Now surely this argument savours of a legal 
pedantry that ignores surrounding conditions. The 
Committee was, of course, an illegal institution from 



its inception; it saved Turkey by illegal methods; a 
revolution cannot but be an illegal operation: and 
it would be obviously unsafe on the morrow of a 
successful revolution — when a nation is still in con- 
fusion, when the people have yet no idea how they 
should exercise their new rights, when the new insti- 
tutions from their very freedom lie open to the attack 
of cunning foes — to adhere strictly to constitutional 
technicalities and legalities, and to break up the 
strong organised power that has brought about the 
overthrow of a regime. After the English revolu- 
tion Cromwell had no scruples in violating law to 
save a cause. If there had been a strong Commit- 
tee of Union and Progress behind the Constitution 
which the Sultan swore to observe on his coming 
to the throne, Turkey might have been saved thirty 
years of despotism and the loss of much territory. 

The Young Turks fully realised the difficulties and 
dangers before them. Many were the foes of the 
newly freed fatherland. There were those of the 
Great Powers to whom constitutional liberty in Tur- 
key meant interference with their designs to enrich 
themselves and obtain territorial expansion at Tur- 
key's expense; there were the smaller Powers on the 
frontier, Bulgaria, Servia, Greece, eager to scramble 
over the partition of Macedonia; and, far more dan- 
gerous than these, there were the Turkish reaction- 
aries, who began to intrigue everywhere against 
the Constitution immediately after its proclamation, 
ready to seize their chance when they saw it. The 
Young Turks in their hour of triumph had freely 



pardoned all save a few of the worst of the crea- 
tures of the Palace, but this great clemency gained 
them no gratitude. It was also a source of no small 
danger that the Young Turks, having but few trained 
administrators in their own ranks, had retained the 
services of such high officials of the old regime as 
had no notoriously evil records for corruption or 
oppression. Some of these men are the secret ene- 
mies of the new order of things. The Young Turks, 
therefore, determined to remain on their guard and 
see to it that Turkey's newly won liberty was not 
wrested from her. As I have stated in a previous 
chapter, they held that, far from losing its raison 
d'etre on the opening of Parliament, the Committee 
of Union and Progress would be more necessary than 
ever for the protection of the country, and they 
decided not to dissolve this powerful organisation, 
but to maintain it, legally or illegally, supported as 
heretofore by the army, until such time as the Con- 
stitution should be firmly established. Such was 
their justification, and they were sincere in their 
explanations of their resolution. 

As will have been gathered from what I have said 
in this book the Committee of Union and Progress 
is no small body of patriots. When I was in Turkey 
it numbered seventy thousand members. I under- 
stand that it now has a membership of about a hun- 
dred thousand. It includes all that is best and most 
patriotic of the educated young Moslem manhood of 
the country. There are now the many Christians, 
too, on the Committee who have rejected the idle 



separatist aspirations of their several races and have 
Ottoman unity as their ideal, and also many of those 
Jews who from the beginning have co-operated loy- 
ally with the Young Turks. When I was in the 
country last autumn it looked much as if this Com- 
mittee had as its members nearly all the men to 
whom it would be safest to leave the guidance of the 

Unfortunately, it seems to be an undoubted fact 
that the Committee of Union and Progress has 
made many enemies even among those who cannot 
be accused of reactionary tendencies. The Com- 
mittee has undoubtedly done some ill-advised and 
tactless things, and its arbitrary methods have raised 
up against itself some relentless foes; but there can, 
I think, be no doubt that it has been actuated 
throughout by pure and patriotic motives, and that 
its errors have been those of zeal and inexperience. 
I have met several members of the party recently, 
and they all sincerely believe that the Committee 
had very good reasons for compelling Kiamil Pasha 
to resign the Grand Vizierate in February last; they 
are confident that the aged statesman had been mis- 
led by the plausible enemies of Turkey's liberties 
and was being duped by reactionaries. The friction 
between the Committee and the Grand Vizier com- 
menced some months before the opening of the Par- 
liament; Kiamil, being a Pasha of the old school, 
naturally resented the dictation of the Committee, 
and complained that while his was the responsibility 
the Committee held all the power. The Committee 



was alarmed by Kiamil Pasha's friendly relations 
with the Liberal Union, the party in opposition to 
the Committee, and recognised the insidious work 
of reactionary influence when Kiamil despatched 
from Constantinople to Macedonia certain battal- 
ions that were faithful to the Committee, thus 
imperilling, in the eyes of the Young Turks, the 
safety of the constitutional cause in the capital. 
When the Grand Vizier, without consultation with 
his ministers or with the party, suddenly dismissed 
the Ministers of War and Marine, the nominees of 
the Committee, and placed others in their stead, the 
crisis was precipitated. The Young Turks, above 
all things, were determined that those in whom 
they did not place implicit confidence should not 
control the army, so the Committee, even as it had 
compelled the resignation of Said Pasha, because 
he had left the appointment of the Ministers of War 
and Marine in the hands of the Sultan, now insisted 
upon the resignation of Kiamil Pasha, and effected 
its purpose in so peremptory a way that it lost 
much of its popularity with the people and afforded 
its unscrupulous enemies a handle for attack. 
The intrigues connected with the fall of Kiamil 
Pasha need not be discussed here; but one gathers 
that the man chiefly to blame is Kiamil's own son, 
Said, a worthless person who enriched himself by 
co-operating with the brigands in the neighbour- 
hood of Smyrna. On several previous occasions he 
has compromised by his intrigues his aged father, 
the one person in Turkey who believes that there is 



no real harm in this very bad specimen of a young 
Turkish gentleman. Of Kiamil Pasha's successor 
to the Grand Vizierate, Hilmi Pasha, I have already 

The Committee justified its treatment of Kiamil 
Pasha and its other arbitrary acts by pleading the 
necessity of protecting the nation against the strong 
reactionary forces which certainly do exist, despite 
the assertions of the organs of the Liberal Union, 
which have ever ridiculed the possibility of a reac- 
tionary movement, and have accused the Commit- 
tee of having invented this bogey as an excuse for 
its own despotic methods. Kiamil Pasha had ever 
been the friend of the English, and his removal from 
the Grand Vizierate produced — to the great regret 
of the Young Turks — a somewhat bad impression 
in England, the country above all others whose 
friendship is valued by patriotic Turks. Those who 
had held that the Committee was an illegal institu- 
tion and ought to be dissolved became alienated for 
a while from the men who had been the saviours of 
Turkey; and it is a great pity that this was so, for 
at that critical time the Young Turks, who never 
before had trod the tortuous ways of politics, and 
were apt to fall into the traps that were cunningly 
laid for them, were much in need of the sympa- 
thetic help and advice from those whose experience 
and knowledge qualified them to offer these. The 
result is, I think, that the Young Turk side of the 
question has not been understood in England. 

The Young Turk party, as represented by the 




Committee of Union and Progress, is now but one 
of several parties in Turkey professing Liberal prin- 
ciples. In Parliament the Committee's nominees 
form the large majority; but the rival parties, 
though they may be numerically small and were 
regarded as insignificant when I was in the country, 
have displayed great energy in winning supporters 
outside the Chamber, and are no longer a negligible 
quantity. Though diametrically opposed to each 
other in their principles, they appear to be united in 
their hatred and jealousy of the Young Turk party, 
without whose self-sacrificing struggle for freedom 
they would never have had an opportunity of exist- 
ing at all. The Young Turks, as I have explained, 
desired Ottoman unity, perhaps an impossible but 
certainly a noble ideal, and it was a disappointment 
to them that, so soon as Parliament met, the Dep- 
uties who were not partisans of the Committee 
divided themselves into distinct nationalist groups, 
some of them impracticably socialistic in their aims, 
others separatist at heart. 

By far the most powerful of these groups, a com- 
posite party, composed of Moslems, Christians, and 
others, calls itself the Liberal Union. Whereas the 
Young Turks, while advocating equality without dis- 
tinction of race or creed, insists that the supremacy 
of the Mussulman Turks should be safeguarded, 
desires to bring about a fusion of the different ele- 
ments, and wants no greater administrative decen- 
tralisation than is necessary; the Liberal Union, on 
the other hand, is opposed to what it terms Turkish 



Chauvinism, and asks for a degree of decentralisa- 
tion which the Young Turks regard as dangerous to 
the integrity of the Empire. The Liberal Union 
therefore stands for home rule. It is largely sup- 
ported by the Greek element, and this fact does not 
commend it to those who desire Ottoman unity. It 
is understood that the party has been well supplied 
with funds by the Greek merchants in Turkey, who 
are ever generous in their subscriptions to a Greek 
national cause; but one cannot feel that the integ- 
rity of the] Ottoman Empire is safe in their hands. 
A source of weakness to the Committee are its self- 
denying principles, whereby there are to be no 
known leaders, no gratification of personal ambition 
by its members, and no seeking for the plums of 
office. The Liberal Union has no such principles of 
self-abnegation, and it has for its leader the Alba- 
nian Ismail Kemal Bey, a victim of the Despotism 
and for some time an exile, a man of marked ability 
and of great ambition. He left the Young Turk 
party on the grounds that its principles were not 
sufficiently Liberal, and formed this party of his 
own, which is the bitterest and most unscrupulous 
enemy of the Committee of Union and Progress. 

The organs of the Liberal Union have been car- 
rying on a press campaign against the Committee 
of Union and Progress. Among other things they 
have asserted that the best men have deserted the 
Committee, that the heroes of the revolution, such 
as Niazi Bey and Enver Bey, have left it in disgust, 
that reactionaries and self-seeking adventurers have 



worked their way into the Committee's centre and 
are directing its policy. It is, of course, possible, 
and even probable, that some unworthy men have 
been admitted into the Committee, but I am certain 
that they have exercised no influence, and I am of 
opinion that they would not have been allowed to 
remain in it after their true characters had been 
discovered. When I was in Turkey last autumn it 
was not altogether an easy matter to become a mem- 
ber of the Committee. On more than one occasion 
when I have asked a member whether some mutual 
friend was in the Committee, he has replied in the 
negative, explaining that the person in question had 
expressed his wish to join the Committee, and that 
he seemed a fitting person, but that the Committee 
would not elect him until more was known concern- 
ing him. As to the allegations made by the organs 
of the Liberal Union, many of the most active mem- 
bers of the Committee, men obviously actuated by 
the sincerest patriotism, are my friends, and I know 
that not one of them has left the Committee or has 
lost faith in it. I also know that the single-minded 
patriots who made the revolution are still members 
of the Committee. Both Niazi Bey and Enver Bey 
have flatly contradicted the statements that were 
made concerning them. 

The Young Turks who write to me from their 
own country or who converse with me in London 
are unanimous in describing the situation as serious, 
but in their opinion the Committee is too strong 
for its enemies. They say that the Sultan himself 



is on the side of the Committee, and disapproves 
of the machinations of the Liberal Union. They 
maintain that whatever professions of Liberalism 
the Liberal Union may make it is reactionary in 
its policy, has known reactionaries within its ranks, 
and is led by self-seeking politicians lacking in 
patriotism. They allege that many of the Greeks 
who support the Liberal Union, having thrived as 
parasites of the old regime, prefer despotisms to 
constitutions. They, moreover, explain that some 
members of the Liberal Union are exceedingly clever 
and cunning men who have succeeded in winning 
over honest men of the Young Turk party — in- 
cluding ulemas and other strict adherents of the 
Mussulman creed — by specious arguments and mis- 
representations. All this seems probable, and it is 
certain that numbers of the Young Turks, though 
true patriots, are simple-minded honest men who 
are likely to be duped by the trained intriguers 
among the Committee's enemies. 

One gathers, therefore, that an incongruous alli- 
ance of non-Moslem socialists, Greek separatists, 
reactionaries, and misled upright Mussulmans is op- 
posed to the Committee of Union and Progress. A 
most malignant press campaign is being carried on 
against the Committee, and the organs of the Com- 
mittee strike hard in return, with the unfortunate 
result that on either side an intense hatred has been 
engendered which cannot but be injurious to the 
country's interests, imperils the Constitution, and 
plays into the hands of Turkey's external foes. 



The Committee of Union and Progress is not rich 
and has not attempted to enrich itself ; but it appears 
that the Liberal Union is well supplied with funds 
wherewith to carry on its campaign, purchase news- 
papers, and buy the consciences of men. It is known 
that the Greeks have been the largest contributors 
to these funds. The Palace gang is also said to 
have supplied its share. When I was in Constanti- 
nople I was informed that the Committee had inter- 
cepted correspondence between the Palace and a 
certain Pasha — who was then an exile in England 
passing under various aliases — and had obtained 
proof that this notorious person was the trustee of 
large sums lying in London banks which were 
intended to meet the expenses of intriguing for 
the restoration of the old regime. Certain foreign 
Powers, which have no love for the Young Turk 
regime, have also been openly accused of intriguing 
with the reactionaries. If they are innocent of this 
they have but themselves to blame for the suspicion 
that attaches to them, for one can only judge of 
their present policy by regarding their past. How 
unscrupulously Germany exploited the old regime 
is known to all the world. Some of the Germans 
whom I met in Constantinople expressed their con- 
viction and their hope that the days of the new 
regime were numbered. It was interesting to hear 
these men, who represented the political commer- 
cialism of their country, frankly state, as if it were 
an incontrovertible axiom, that all European peo- 
ples, whether German, British, or any other, had 



for their one aim in Turkey the exploitation of a 
helpless country. The Germans are perfectly sin- 
cere when they assert that the Balkan Committee 
is the paid agent of a cunning British Govern- 
ment, that the expression of British sympathy for 
oppressed nationalities is organised hypocrisy with 
the attainment of selfish ends as its one motive. 
As they look with their cold, blue eyes into yours 
you realise that they quite believe these things. 
The materialism of modern Germany has so sunk 
into the souls of her sons — including some of the 
most illustrious of them — that it has become incon- 
ceivable to them that a nation, or a group of the 
citizens of that nation, can take a disinterested in- 
terest in the affairs of other nations and sympathise 
unselfishly with its misfortunes or triumphs. To 
the Germans the enthusiasm with which the success 
of the Young Turk cause was welcomed in England 
was all humbug — a cleverly engineered manifesta- 
tion of friendship whose object it was to secure for 
Great Britain the influence in Turkey which Ger- 
many had lost by the revolution but confidently 
looked forward to recovering at an early date by 
more straightforward if more brutal methods. 

The thirty years of despotism, by its deliberate 
encouragement of corruption, had demoralised a 
great part of the Turkish nation. The cure cannot 
come in a day, and those well provided with money 
can still buy power in Constantinople. It was amid 
very corrupt surroundings that the Young Turks, 
pure themselves, set to work to undertake the 



regeneration of Turkey and to make the Empire 
strong. To begin with, Constantinople is full of 
men who have lived by corrupt practices all their 
lives — the men who were blackmailing spies under 
the old regime, or had belonged to that huge tribe 
of useless functionaries who used to crowd every 
public department and had to be bribed by those 
whom business brought into contact with them. 
All these people, their occupation now gone, are 
wandering about the capital in very disconsolate 
mood, hard up, regretting " the good old days," and 
hating the purifying influence that has brought this 
change about. These men are all reactionaries; 
many of them know well how to poison the minds 
of ignorant people against the Committee with cun- 
ning inventions. They are largely responsible for 
the growing popular dislike of the Committee. It 
is very difficult for the people in the capital to 
arrive at the truth, and they are largely at the 
mercy of paid agitators and schemers. Even foreign 
Governments are able to influence public opinion in 
Turkey. The Germans and Austrians possess a use- 
ful piece of machinery for the dissemination of news 
to serve their own interests in the shape of a tele- 
graphic agency which supplies Constantinople with 
practically all its foreign information, and sells its 
despatches by the column to the newspapers of that 
city at a low rate that cannot possibly pay the 
expenses of the service. The news which purports 
to come from London is often of an astonishing 



I understand that the Committee of Union and 
Progress is now about to reorganise its constitution 
and convert itself into what we should call a Parlia- 
mentary party; but under whatever name it con- 
tinues its existence it is to be hoped that this body 
of men, which has done such great and noble work 
for Turkey, which contains so many men of single- 
minded, self-sacrificing patriotism, will remain the 
dominating party in the country. But it will have 
to be as the strong man armed and ever watchful, 
for its enemies are many and have the money 
wherewith, alas! the consciences of both men and 
newspapers can still be purchased in Turkey. 




THE greater part of this book was in the press, 
and the preceding chapter, which was to 
have been the final one, lacked but a few 
concluding paragraphs to bring my work to a close, 
when the news reached London that a revolution 
had broken out in Constantinople. On that event- 
ful thirteenth of April I was lunching in a literary 
club off the Strand with two well-known members 
of the Young Turk party. The information con- 
veyed by an early issue of a so-called evening paper 
was scanty, and we hoped that nothing worse had 
occurred than one of those mutinous demonstrations 
on the part of the Sultan's pampered Body-guard 
which the Young Turks have already proved them- 
selves capable of suppressing with promptitude and 
vigour. But later and fuller information brought 
anger and sorrow to the friends of Turkey: nearly 
the whole garrison of the capital had risen against 
the Government; the soldiers were killing their 
young officers; fanatical mobs were hunting out the 
members of the Young Turk party to murder them ; 
the Committee of Union and Progress, in Constan- 
tinople at any rate, was at the feet of its enemies. 



The members of the Committee were fleeing for 
their lives from their fellow-countrymen, whom they 
had saved from a hated despotism. A few months 
ago I heard these same Constantinople mobs shout- 
ing themselves hoarse with cries of "Long live the 
Committee of Union and Progress!" and all seemed 
grateful to this band of men who, animated by 
single-minded patriotism and a spirit of self-sac- 
rifice, had organised the revolution. But a large 
portion of the population of Constantinople is a 
very vile thing; it is made up of everything that is 
worst of the various races of the Levant and of 
regions farther east. The fanatical Kurds are ever 
ready to join in any rising that gives them the op- 
portunity of pillage and murder; the greater part of 
the Christian population is too cowardly to defend 
itself; here, too, are collected all the ex-spies and 
other corrupt products of the old regime. One is 
inclined to think that one of the chief lessons to be 
learnt by the Young Turks from the counter-revo- 
lution is that the seat of Government might with 
advantage be removed from Constantinople to some 
place at a considerable distance from it. My Turk- 
ish friends, I may state here, were perfectly confi- 
dent, through those mid-April days when Turkey's 
future seemed so dark, that the triumph of the 
reactionaries would be but short-lived, that right 
would prevail, and that within a few days the prov- 
inces, strongly supporting the Young Turk cause, 
would compel the capital to submit to their will. 

I have postponed the writing of this final chapter 



until the last possible moment, in order that I might 
obtain a perspective view of these strange happen- 
ings in the Turkish capital. As may be gathered 
from the preceding chapter, there was a good deal of 
uneasiness in Constantinople for some time before 
the outbreak of the 13th. The bitter strife between 
the Committee of Union and Progress and the 
Liberal Union weakened the constitutional cause. A 
newly formed society called the Jemiyet-Mohamme- 
dieh (the League of Mohammed) was obtaining a 
hold upon the Moslem population. It professed to be 
in favour of the Constitution, but called for a strict 
application of the Sheriat or Sacred Law. It was 
the enemy of the Committee of Union and Progress, 
maintaining that the members of the Committee, 
including the young army officers, did not observe 
the precepts of the Koran, and by their irreligious 
ways set a bad example to the rank and file. These 
movements afforded an opportunity for mischief 
to the reactionaries, the men who cared little for 
religion or country, but desired the return of the 
absolutism with the corruption on which they had 
lived. So men from the Palace, together with ex- 
spies and dishonest Government employes who had 
been deprived of their posts by the new regime, 
began to intrigue with success, and were much 
helped by the fact that many of their own base 
order had wormed themselves both into the Liberal 
Union and the Mohammedan League. 

The Liberal Union apparently took the lead in the 
plot against the Government, and it became obvious 



that it was well provided with funds. I am told 
that for a considerable time before the outbreak the 
members of this association used to frequent the 
principal hotel in Pera, and made of it a sort of 
head-quarters. Here, spending plenty of money, 
they used to converse plausibly with foreign visi- 
tors, including the correspondents of newspapers; 
for it was part of their aim to gain foreign 
sympathy — and especially English sympathy — for 
their cause; their efforts were attended with some 
success, for while plotting with reaction they prated 
of liberty, and their arguments to the effect that in 
the Committee of Union and Progress Turkey had 
but found a new despotism in place of the old one 
were convincing to many. 

The acrimony of the strife between the two par- 
ties was much intensified by the assassination of the 
editor of a Liberal newspaper, presumably by some 
one in sympathy with the Committee; and as it be- 
came clear that the loyalty of the First Army Corps, 
forming the garrison of Constantinople, was being 
undermined by the agents of reaction, General 
Mukhtar Pasha, who was in command of that army 
corps, began to take due precautions; on April 12 
he issued most stringent orders to his men, explain- 
ing to them that they were to shoot down even softas 
and other civilians if ordered to do so by their 
officers. I have already explained that the fidelity 
to the Constitution of this army corps, which 
included the pampered Palace Guards, had been 
doubtful from the beginning. The Young Turks, 



after the mutiny in November, had removed some 
of the least reliable battalions and had replaced 
them with troops from Salonica. They had intended 
greatly to reduce the Imperial Guard itself, but had 
refrained from doing so at the earnest wish of the 
Sultan. I have pointed out that before the revo- 
lution these Palace troops were officered with men 
risen from their own ranks — alaili — ignorant and 
faithful men who could be relied on to support 
their benevolent master, the Sultan. The Young 
Turks had removed these rankers, replacing them 
with mekteblis, officers who have passed through the 
military schools, and therefore to a man are support- 
ers of the Young Turk party, many of them being 
members of the Committee. There is no doubt 
that the rank and file bitterly resented this inno- 
vation, and there grew up a sullen discontent, which 
subtle agitators who appealed to Mussulman fanat- 
icism could easily fan into a flame. The hodjas 
and softas were assiduously preaching in the bar- 
racks that the Committee was endangering the 
Moslem faith, and the minds of the men became 
poisoned against their officers. 

But though there was uneasiness in the capital, 
the counter-revolution came to the citizens as a 
complete surprise. In the afternoon of the 12th a 
British officer, who had just arrived in the capital, 
visited the various barracks, and found the troops 
peacefully drilling or performing their other ordinary 
duties, the officers and men alike seeming happy 
and contented, and an Inspector of Police of great 



experience informed him that the city had never 
been more quiet and orderly. During the early 
hours of the 13th, while it was still dark, people 
were awakened by the tramp of soldiery in the 
streets (successive bodies of men marching in 
silence), wondered a little what these unwonted 
movements signified, and then went to sleep again. 
When they went out a few hours later the citizens 
found the whole city at the mercy of nearly twenty 
thousand mutinous troops. The plot had been 
carefully organised with the same extraordinary 
secrecy that had characterised the Young Turk 
revolution of the previous July, and no one save 
those concerned had any suspicion as to what was 
about to happen. 

Before dawn the troops, after shooting some of 
their officers and binding and imprisoning others, 
marched through the streets under the command of 
their non-commissioned officers, and concentrated 
in the neighbourhood of the House of Parliament. 
The Salonica Chasseurs, who, as Macedonian troops, 
had been regarded as being wholly loyal to the 
Young Turk cause, took a leading part in the revolt. 
A large number of marines also joined the mutineers 
and were guilty of the murder of many officers. 
When the sun rose the square outside the Par- 
liament House and the Mosque of St. Sophia was 
packed with the mutineers and a great number of 
softas and hodjas in their turbans and flowing robes, 
who harangued the soldiers and inflamed their 
fanatical zeal. In front of St. Sophia waved the 



red and green banner of the Sheriat. Brave officers 
who occasionally arrived to remonstrate with their 
men were immediately killed. 

It was apparent that the revolt had been very 
carefully planned, and that the troops had received 
detailed instructions which they obeyed to the let- 
ter, and there can be no doubt that they were assured 
that they were doing as the Padishah wished them 
to do. Bodies of troops were detached to seize the 
bridges and the telegraph offices, and dispositions 
were made to meet resistance from any point. It 
was made quite clear that the main object of the 
counter-revolution was the destruction of the Com- 
mittee of Union and Progress; for, while killing offi- 
cers and others who belonged to that association, 
the soldiers preserved order, in no way interfered 
with the civilian population, and spoke reassuring 
words to the Christians whom they met. But not- 
withstanding this, there was, of course, a panic in 
the city, and all the shops put up their shutters. 
Mobs of Mussulmans of the dangerous class, Kurds 
and Lazes, armed with pistols and clubs, and in 
many cases with rifles, joined the soldiery; but 
even these had apparently been given the word 
that excesses would damage the cause of the faith- 
ful, for the massacres and pillage which might have 
been expected from this rough and fanatical element 
of the population did not occur. 

The conspirators had not secured the support of 
the entire garrison of Constantinople; for troops 
loyal to the Government — cavalry, artillery, and 



infantry — were holding the Ministry of War on 
the morning of the 13th. General Mukhtar Pasha, 
the commander of the First Army Corps, was on 
duty on the Asiatic side of the Bosphorus, and he 
has told an interviewer that the signal for revolu- 
tion had been purposely given while he was absent. 
So soon as he was informed as to what was hap- 
pening he hurried back to Stamboul, and on reach- 
ing head-quarters on the morning of the 13th found 
the Ministry of War surrounded by a wildly excited 
mob. He collected the troops who had not joined 
the mutineers and dispersed the crowd with his cav- 
alry. He states that had he been given full powers 
he could have nipped the revolt in the bud, and 
that had the Ministry taken the proper measures in 
time the mutiny could have been mastered without 
bloodshed. But Mukhtar was expressly impeded 
from taking energetic action and, as the natural 
result, his own troops began to desert him. When 
Mukhtar heard that the Sultan had issued an am- 
nesty to the mutineers he realised that he could 
do no more, and resigned his command. He only 
escaped the death that had been prepared for him 
by taking a circuitous route, and ultimately found 
a refuge on a foreign man-of-war. 

The demands that were made by the mutineers 
showed pretty conclusively that the plot had been 
arranged by the Liberal Union working hand in 
hand with reactionaries and fanatics. The troops 
cheered loudly for the Sultan, called for the strict 
application of the Sacred Law, the overthrow of 



the Government, the destruction of the Commit- 
tee, and the removal of the officers of the Salonica 
Chasseurs and the marines. The following specific 
demands, which could never have been thought out 
by the ignorant soldiers, who know nothing of poli- 
tics, were also put forward by them — demands 
which had obviously been prompted by the Liberal 
Union — the dismissal of the Grand Vizier, the 
Ministers of War and Marine, the commander of 
the First Army Corps, and the President of the 
Chamber of Deputies; the removal from Constan- 
tinople of the editor of the Young Turk newspaper, 
the Tannin, and the expulsion of Rahmi Bey and 
Djavid Bey, Deputies for Salonica, and members 
of the Committee of Union and Progress. The sol- 
diers also asked that Ismail Kemal Bey, the leader 
of the Liberal Union, and his supporter, Zohrab 
Bey, should be made President and Vice-President 
of the Chamber of Deputies. Their acts as well 
as their words proved who had instigated them to 
revolt; they murdered Nazim Pasha, the Minister 
of Justice, and wounded the Minister of Marine; 
they killed the Emir Mohammed Arslan, a highly 
respected Deputy, as he was entering the House, 
mistaking him for the editor of the Tannin, and 
they destroyed the offices of the Committee of 
Union and Progress, as well as those of its organs, 
the Shura-i-Ummet and the Tannin. 

During April 13 the reactionaries ruled Constan- 
tinople; the members of the Committee of Union 
and Progress had to take to flight or hide them- 



selves, and several of the Generals crossed the 
Bosphorus and took refuge in the house of a 
well-known British merchant. The Liberal Union, 
which had let loose the forces of disorder, enjoyed 
but a short triumph. In the evening of the 13th 
some Deputies met in the House and elected the 
Liberal Union leader, Ismail Kemal Bey, as Presi- 
dent of the Chamber — an illegal proceeding, as 
there was no quorum, and the Young Turk mem- 
bers who represented the parliamentary majority 
naturally were not present. In the course of the 
day Ismail Kemal and some members of the Lib- 
eral Union went to the Yildiz and begged the Sul- 
tan to appoint Kiamil Pasha, who was a supporter 
of the Union, as Grand Vizier, but the Sultan re- 
fused to listen to their advice. From this time the 
Liberal Union lost its hold on the people, and was 
deserted by many members of the party who were 
good patriots and adherents of the Constitution, for 
these recognised and were horrified at the mischief 
that had been wrought by the self-seeking wire- 
pullers of this so-called "Liberal" organisation. 

And in the meanwhile all eyes were turned anx- 
iously to the Yildiz to discover what would be the 
attitude of the inscrutable monarch at this crisis. 
In the evening of the 13th, when the Sultan granted 
an amnesty to the mutineers, called them his chil- 
dren, and yielded to many of their demands, there 
were lovers of liberty who feared the worst; but 
when it became known that the Sultan had not 
taken immediate advantage of the situation to 



restore absolutism, but, on the contrary, on the 
resignation of the Young Turk Ministry in the 
afternoon, had appointed Tewfik Pasha as Grand 
Vizier and Edhem Pasha as Minister of War, great 
relief was felt; for these were two trusted and able 
men, who, though they were no partisans of this or 
that political group, were undoubtedly men of Lib- 
eral principles and no creatures of the Despotism. 
So the Constitutionalists took heart, and they were 
still more reassured when on the loth Nazim Pasha 
was appointed Commander of the First Army Corps 
and Assistant Minister of War. The appointment 
of Nazim Pasha as Minister of War in February 
last had roused the opposition of the Committee of 
Union and Progress, and was one of the chief causes 
of the fall of Kiamil Pasha; but, as the Young 
Turks clearly explained at the time, it was with 
Kiamil's policy that they found fault; Nazim him- 
self was admired and respected by them as a fine 
soldier and a man of distinctly Liberal views, for 
which the Palace had made him suffer in his time. 
It was therefore recognised that the newly created 
temporary Government was at any rate not a reac- 
tionary one, and that the cause of liberty, though 
still in great peril, was not yet lost. 

For twenty-four hours the soldiers celebrated 
their victory by firing off their rifles in the streets, 
thereby accidentally killing and wounding a good 
many people. It was noticed that they had plenty 
of money to spend, and it was evident that a large 
sum had been provided by the organisers of the con- 



spiracy to buy the support of the army. As many 
of the men confessed afterwards, they had suc- 
cumbed to gifts of money and had been misled by 
lying preachers who approached them in the name 
of religion. On April 15 Nazim Pasha, who is pop- 
ular with the army, though a strict disciplinarian, 
announced that the severest punishment would be 
inflicted on any soldiers who fired in the streets, 
and explained that the Sultan's amnesty only pro- 
tected them from punishment for crimes committed 
during the two previous days. Next he released all 
officers who had been imprisoned by the mutineers, 
and warned the soldiers that no mercy would be 
shown to those who molested these officers or any 
of the civilian population. The bulk of the troops 
now returned to their barracks, order was restored, 
and outwardly Constantinople was once again a city 
of peace. 

But a crime had been committed with what far- 
reaching evil results to Turkey no man knows yet. 
This wanton conspiracy, doomed to failure from 
the beginning, not only threatened the destruction 
of the Constitution, but, stirring up all the forces 
of reaction, sent a wave of fanaticism sweeping 
through Asia that it will be difficult indeed to stem. 
It has brought about the massacre of Christians, 
civil war, the fratricidal fighting between Turkish 
armies, the menace of foreign intervention, and the 
possibility of the disintegration of the Empire itself. 
The counter-revolution soon bore its evil fruit. On 
April 15, telegrams from Mersina, in Asia Minor, 



announced the beginning of those massacres which 
have cost the lives of thousands of Armenians. It 
is probable that the reactionaries planned these mas- 
sacres, for the fact that certain notable Armenians 
were warned as to what was about to happen by their 
Moslem friends, disproves the theory that a chance 
affray was responsible for all this slaughter; at any 
rate the outbreak of murderous fanaticism would 
have been suppressed speedily had not the authority 
of the Government officials on the spot been destroyed 
by the revolt in the capital. Then came the news of 
a rising of the Moslem Albanians, whom the agents 
of reaction had converted into the bitter enemies of 
the Young Turks. During these days of doubt and 
fear for patriotic Turks, but one event of hopeful 
augury occurred. On April 19 the Turko-Bulga- 
rian Protocol, by which Turkey recognised Bulgaria's 
independence, was signed. The provisional Govern- 
ment had acted wisely, for thus was removed the 
danger of a war with Bulgaria at this very critical time. 

A member of the Young Turk party said to me: 
"If the reactionaries imagine that we will take this 
lying down they will find themselves much mistaken. 
We are very strong : practically all European Turkey 
is on our side, and you will see that we will now set 
to work to crush the power of the reactionaries once 
and for all." And so indeed it has come to pass. 
When the news of the counter-revolution reached 
Salonica, the city that is proud that it was the cra- 
dle of Turkey's liberty, the inhabitants — Moslems, 
Christians, and Jews — were infuriated, and called 



for an immediate march upon Constantinople. To 
Salonica flocked the officers and other members of 
the Committee who had escaped from the capital, 
and thither, too, hurried the two gallant young 
leaders of the July revolution, Enver Bey and 
Hakki Bey, who at the time were the Turkish 
military attaches in Berlin and Vienna respectively. 
Niazi Bey, too, in Monastir, sent the word to his 
Albanian and Bulgarian friends to collect volun- 
teers, and he himself, with the regulars under his 
command, took train to Salonica. And now it 
was made manifest that Macedonia, at any rate, 
remained faithful to the Constitution and to the 
Young Turk party. The men of the Third Army 
Corps were eager to be led against the traitorous 
reactionaries of the capital; the civilian Moslems 
formed themselves into bands of fedais; all the Bul- 
garian clubs in Macedonia declared themselves the 
supporters of the Young Turk cause, and their 
members expressed their readiness to die in defence 
of the Constitution, and this despite the fact that 
the Bulgarians had not been treated fairly during 
the Parliamentary elections; the famous Bulgarian 
chiefs, Sandansky and Panitza, and other Bulgarian 
leaders, brought their bands of enthusiastic moun- 
taineers to Salonica; the Albanian Christian moun- 
tain tribes, including my old friends the Miridites, 
sent their armed men to fight for the cause; the 
Jews volunteered in numbers; indeed, of the various 
elements composing the population of Macedonia 
the Greeks alone appear to have held aloof. 



In Constantinople the reactionaries, notwith- 
standing the appointment of a Ministry that sup- 
ported the Constitution, had taken it for granted 
that the success of their cause was assured, and, 
having seduced the garrison to their side, they but 
awaited the order of the Sultan to complete their 
work and give the coup de grace to the regime of 
liberty. They had apparently omitted to consider 
whether the rest of Turkey would support their 
action; for the news from Macedonia came as a 
shocking surprise to them, and irritated the well- 
named Volkan, the organ of the League of Moham- 
med, into an eruption of furious articles of a highly 
inflammatory and dangerous character. First came 
the news from Salonica that the Committee of Union 
and Progress refused to acknowledge the new Gov- 
ernment, and that the Macedonians intended to 
march upon Constantinople. On April 16 a tele- 
gram announced that the first sixteen battalions of 
the Constitutional army (the Third Army Corps) 
had already entrained at Salonica. Next it became 
known that the Second Army Corps at Adrianople 
had agreed to support the Salonica force. On the 
19th the advanced patrols of the avenging Mace- 
donian army were at St. Stefano within two leagues 
of the capital. It was all in vain that the Govern- 
ment sent telegrams and deputations to Salonica 
to reassure the Young Turks and to explain that 
the Constitution was in no danger, and would be 
respected by the Sultan and his new Ministry, for 
the Young Turks could not be brought to believe 



that the Constitution was secure while the capital 
was full of triumphant reactionaries and troops who 
had been bought over to their cause, acting in the 
name of a Sultan whom it would be folly to trust 

So the Parliamentary troops began to concentrate 
round the capital, and the reactionaries lost heart. 
The Palace spies and other deeply compromised per- 
sons thought it prudent to flee from the capital. A 
friend of mine, writing from Constantinople, tells me 
that a panic seized the people, including many Euro- 
peans, and that their hurried departure to catch any 
steamer in the port, bound for no matter where, 
was comic, but lacking in dignity. On the other 
hand, the different Liberal political groups, Moslem, 
Christian, and Jew, agreed to put aside their party 
differences and to unite in upholding the Constitu- 
tion. The Committee of Union and Progress re- 
covered much of the influence and popularity that it 
had lost, for it was recognised that this organisation 
alone had the power behind it to enforce the will of 
the people and defeat the reactionaries. It became 
plain, too, that the Ministry itself was co-operating 
with the leaders of the Macedonian army, so as to 
come to some arrangement that would safeguard the 
Constitution and at the same time prevent, if pos- 
sible, the shedding of blood. As for the Sultan, he 
remained in the Yildiz, inscrutable as ever, and had 
frequent conferences with Tewfik Pasha, his Grand 
Vizier, who announced that "His Sublime Majesty 
awaits benevolently the arrival of the so-called con- 



stitutional army. He has nothing to gain or fear, 
since His Sublimity is for the Constitution and is its 
supreme guardian." 

No preparations for defence or resistance of any 
sort were made by the Government, and Nazim 
Pasha and the other Generals in the capital con- 
fined themselves to maintaining order in the garri- 
son and preventing any fanatical outbreak on the 
part of the rough element of the Moslem population. 
Of the troops forming the garrison a considerable 
proportion repented that they had taken part in the 
mutiny, and, acknowledging that they had been mis- 
led by lies, were ready to take the oath of fidelity 
to the Constitution; but, on the other hand, a great 
many, including the six thousand who were guard- 
ing the Yildiz, were faithful to those who had de- 
ceived and bribed them, and were prepared to die 
for the Sultan. 

General Husni Pasha rapidly brought up the 
troops that were to invest the capital, the bulk of 
them belonging to the Third Army Corps; but the 
force also included contingents from the Second, or 
Adrianople, Army Corps and numbers of volunteers, 
for the most part Moslem Macedonians, Bulgarians, 
and Albanians, wild-looking men from the moun- 
tains clad in their picturesque native dress. Gen- 
eral Mahmut Shevket Pasha, the commander of the 
Third Army Corps, directed the operations, and on 
the 21st he left Salonica for the front to take over 
the supreme command of the army of investment. 
Foreign military observers have spoken in terms of 



highest praise of the rapidity with which the Third 
Army Corps was mobilised, the admirable organisa- 
tion, the discipline, morale, and excellent condition of 
the troops, the arrangements for the supply of food, 
the completeness of the equipment of the force, 
which included field hospitals, field telegraphs, and 
other details. The Turkish army has profited much 
by the splendid training of Baron von der Goltz and 
the German officers under him, and has become a 
fighting machine which will be able to give a very 
good account of itself if the enemies of Turkey ven- 
ture to attack her. 

It is unnecessary to give an account here of the 
various negotiations which were carried on between 
the Ministry in Constantinople and the advancing 
army, for it is clear that these were mostly simu- 
lated with the object of keeping the capital quiet 
and gaining time until Shevket Pasha had collected 
a force sufficiently large to overawe the reactionary 
portion of the garrison and so secure the entry and 
occupation of Constantinople with as little blood- 
shed as possible. Of the many statements made at 
this time by the Ministry and the Young Turk 
leaders, one stands out as important and significant. 
The Committee of Union and Progress, recognising 
that this was no time for any political party to 
assert itself, and that all friends of liberty should 
unite to save the Constitution, announced its inten- 
tion of remaining completely in the background and 
not intervening in any way, while the army, acting 
quite independently, would free the Constitution 



from the fetters which traitors had placed upon it. 
The army, it was maintained, had nothing to do 
with politics or parties. It was the army of the 
nation, and it was for Shevket Pasha, representing 
the army, to redeem its honour by entering the 
capital, proclaiming martial law, and severely pun- 
ishing the traitors who had corrupted the soldiers 
and used them to forward their reactionary schemes. 

The army of investment increased in numbers 
daily, and on April 22 a semi-circle of thirty thou- 
sand men enclosed Constantinople on its land side 
while men-of-war guarded its sea approaches. On 
that day a National Assembly, composed of Sena- 
tors and Deputies, with Said Pasha as President, 
held a secret session at St. Stefano, within the lines 
of the investing army, and apparently agreed on the 
deposition of the Sultan. On Friday, April 23, Ab- 
dul Hamid, for the last time, was the central figure 
of the Selamlik and drove to the mosque between 
faithful Guards and a crowd of many thousands of 
his subjects. Only ten days had passed since the 
counter-revolution had restored to him much of his 
former despotic power, but the action of the Young 
Turks was quick and decisive, and this was to be 
the last day of his long and calamitous reign. 

Shevket Pasha, having completed his dispositions, 
lost no time in further parleying, recognising that 
to do as speedily as possible what had to be done 
would probably save much bloodshed in the capital, 
and prevent the further spreading of the dangerous 
reactionary movements in Asia Minor and Albania. 



At three in the morning of April 24 the Macedo- 
nian troops, regulars and volunteers, began to work 
their way into the city from all sides, and proceeded 
to occupy Stamboul, Galata, and Pera. They en- 
tered Stamboul by the principal gates that pierce 
the ancient walls, encountering resistance at one 
gate only. Near the Sublime Porte a portion of 
the garrison offered a determined resistance, which 
was overcome by Niazi Bey, at the head of the 
Resna battalion, and a band of Macedonian volun- 
teers. Some of the guard-houses had to be taken 
at the point of the bayonet. The entry into Stam- 
boul of the Parliamentary troops seems to have 
taken a great part of the garrison by surprise, for 
Shevket Pasha, in his official report, states that 
"the troops quartered at the Ministry of War were 
compelled to surrender before they had time to de- 
fend themselves." 

On the farther side of the Golden Horn the fight- 
ing was more severe than in Stamboul. Shortly after 
5 a.m. firing commenced in the outskirts of Pera. 
The Macedonian troops attacked the Taksim and 
Tashkishla barracks, which were defended in most 
stubborn manner by desperate men who thought 
that they would receive no mercy, and there was 
fierce street fighting in the European quarter, where 
the guard-houses were bravely held by the mis- 
guided men of the First Army Corps. From the 
Tashkishla barracks a heavy fire was opened upon 
the advancing troops, and the barracks had to be 
shelled and almost destroyed by the artillery on 



the heights above, before the garrison, after several 
hours' fighting and heavy losses, surrendered. 

Equally desperate was the defence of the Taxim 
barracks, the attack on which was led by Enver 
Bey. This young officer, who, during the months 
that preceded the revolution, had wandered, dis- 
guised and at great risk to his life, through the 
Macedonian garrison towns, and there, though sur- 
rounded by spies, had successfully won officers and 
men over to the cause, like his friend Niazi desired 
no recognition of his patriotic work, and, modest as 
he is able, was glad to accept the simple post of mili- 
tary attache at Berlin. Recalled by his country's 
danger when the counter-revolution broke out, he 
joined the army at Salonica, and now, on April 24, 
he was leading across the Taxim Square a charge of 
regular troops and volunteers — Moslems, Christians, 
and Jews — fighting shoulder to shoulder against a 
Moslem foe, a strange thing, indeed, to come about 
in Turkey. These men fought splendidly under their 
young leader, but so deadly a fire was opened upon 
them from the loopholed barracks that here, too, 
artillery had to be employed to overpower the de- 
fence. Guns were dragged up the steep, narrow 
streets by the willing populace and opened fire at 
very short range upon the barracks and the Taxim 
guard-house. Then there was a rush of the Turks, 
Bulgarians, and white-capped Albanians, and the 
defenders, after a three hours' resistance, which 
cost the attacking force many casualties, hoisted 
the white flag and surrendered. 



While barracks were being thus assaulted, and 
there was hand-to-hand fighting in the streets of 
Pera, the commander-in-chief of the Macedonian 
forces had made most careful dispositions to pre- 
serve order in the great city and protect the civil- 
ian population. A detachment of troops was sent to 
guard each embassy. Bodies of regulars, cadets and 
volunteers patrolled the streets of Pera and Galata, 
shooting down such Marines and Kurds as were at- 
tempting to loot the shops, and making prisoners of 
all the soldiers belonging to the garrison whom they 
came across. In Stamboul the troops seized hun- 
dreds of spies, sqftas and hodjas, who, after stirring 
up the evil passions of the garrison and the popu- 
lace, had taken refuge in the mosques. By noon, 
quiet had been restored in Constantinople, and in 
the evening the troops quartered in the Selimieh 
barracks at Scutari surrendered to the Macedonian 
regiments which had been transported across the 
Bosphorus to compel the submission of these men, 
and to intercept fugitives from the capital. 

These operations were all planned and carried into 
execution with a wonderful skill. The discipline, 
courage, and irreproachable conduct of the Mace- 
donian troops aroused the admiration of all for- 
eign observers. The wild-looking volunteers from 
the mountains fought as bravely as the regulars, 
and their behaviour was exemplary. That evening 
nearly twenty thousand fighting men, flushed with 
victory, were scattered through the great city, and 
yet there appear to have been no cases of drunk- 



enness or irregularities of any description. It was 
the triumph of the right cause — the cause that 
represents enlightenment, justice, liberty, and true 
patriotism — as opposed to tyranny, corruption, 
fanaticism, and ignorance. 

The capital was in the hands of the Young 
Turks; the forces of reaction had been crushed; a 
state of siege was proclaimed; some thousands of 
arrests were made; the more guilty received the 
punishment which they deserved, and the others 
were treated with leniency, for, while justice was 
administered, anything that savoured of vengeance 
was disallowed; the First Army Corps was dis- 
banded and the mutinous soldiers were sent to 
Macedonia, to be employed in constructing roads; 
Tewfik Pasha and his ministers consented to carry 
on the government provisionally. 

In short, the Young Turk regime was firmly re- 
established by men who acted with discretion and 
decision after a crisis that perhaps has cleared the 
atmosphere and effected a reconciliation between 
such political foes as have in common the love 
of country and the determination to uphold the 

Early in the morning of April 27 Reshad Effendi 
left his residence, the Dolma Baghche Palace, and 
drove to the War Office, where he was proclaimed 
Sultan with a salvo of 101 guns. After thirty -three 
years of luxurious but depressing isolation he now 
changes places with his elder brother, the former 
going from captivity to a throne, the latter from a 



throne to captivity. The new Sultan is an amiable 
man, beloved by his entourage, and he has already 
produced a favourable impression on such foreigners 
as have been received by him. 



Aali Pasha, 26. 
Aassim Bey, 248. 

Abd-ul-Aziz, accession of, 25; de- 
posed, 29. 
Abdul Hamid, accession of, 30. 
Abdul Houda, 205. 
Abd-ul-Mejid, 25. 

Administration by the Young Turks, 

Ahmed Riza, 248; and the Central 
Committee, 102; in London, 76, 78. 

Albania, revolt in, 66-70. 

Albanian chiefs, the, 154; horrors, 22. 

Albanians support the Committee, 

Ali Bey, 69. 

Ameer Ali, 61. 

Anatolian troops, 169-184. 

Anti-Christian feeling, 10. 

Animals, kindness to, 8. 

Army, the, 40; a strong, needed, 261, 
280; and the Revolution, 113-115; 
discontent in the, 87-100; and the 
Committee, 224; mutinous, 300; 
Young Turks and, 89-100. 

Astrologer at Court, an, 205. 

Atrocities, 15-24. 

Austria's annexations, 238; trade, boy- 
cott of, 218. 
"Awakening of Turkey," play, 257. 

"Bag and Baggage" policy, the, 21. 
Balance of Power, the, 36. 
Bloodless Victory, a, 185, 197. 
Boer War and the Turks, 47. 

Bosnia, annexation of, 238; risings in, 

Boycott of Austrian trade, 218. 
Brigands, Macedonian, 18; Turkish, 7. 
British, hatred of the, 45. 
Bulgarian Atrocities, 18; insurrection, 

Bulgarians and Greeks, 93; friendly, 

Camarilla, dispersal of, 232. 

Causes of revolt, 49. 

Censorship, the, 41. 

Central Committee, the, 101, 117, 119, 

132, 199, 224, 246. 
Characteristics of Turks, 5. 
Christian propagandists, 94. 
Congress at Salonica, 252; of 1907, 


Constantinople after the revolt, 211. 
Constitution granted, 205; proclaimed, 

200; suspended, 33. 
Corruption in Constantinople, 294; 

spread of, 35-53. 
Counter, revolution, the, 297-320. 
Coup d'etat, of 1876, 28. 
Crawford, Mr., 235. 
Customs, reorganisation of, 235. 
Czar, the, and Edward VII, 122. 

Death of Shimshi Pasha, 168. 
Demonstrations, 209. 
Despotism, final efforts of, 169-184. 
"Diary of a Young Turk," 115. 
Discontent in the Army, 87-100, 



Dismemberment of Turkey, 1. 

Disunion, 299. 

Djavid Bey, 248. 

Dogs in Constantinople, 8. 

Domination of the Committee, 224. 

Early Reformers, 25-34. 

Education, spread of, 54-63. 

Edward VII and the Tsar, 122; con- 
gratulations from, 231. 

Elections, the, 273-280. 

Electoral law, the, 270. 

Enemies of the Young Turks, 284. 

England and Turkey, 4; friendship 
with, 229. 

Enver Bey, 125, 130, 169, 248. 

European assistance, 227-237; influ- 
ence, 13. 

Exile of leaders, 31. 

Exiles, return of the, 208. 

Eyoub Effendi, 188. 

Fair Bey, 248. 

Fehim Pasha, 42. 

Ferid Pasha dismissed, 204. 

Finances, organisation of, 235. 

Fraternising, 209. 

Freemasonry, 101. 

French influence, 13. 

Fuad Pasha, 26. 

Geneva, Young Turks at, 72. 
German influence, 45, 93, 295. 
Greek influence, 253-277; Patri- 
archate, influence of, 2^1. 
Greeks and Bulgarians, 93. 
Guards, the Palace, 238-248. 

Halil Halid, 19. 
Hamidian regime, the, 35-53. 
Hatti-Sherif of Gulhane, the, 25. 
Herzegovina, annexation of, 238; ris- 
ings in, 27, 

Hilmi Pasha, 202, 234. 
Hurriet, newspaper, the, 64. 

Ignatieff, 26. 

Influence, European, 13; German, 45, 
93, 295. 

Insurrection, in Bulgaria, 152, 158; 

the Macedonian, 90. 
Intermarriage with Westerns, 57. 
Internal dissensions, 281-296. 
Interregnum, the, 222. 
Ismail Pasha, 131. 
Istarova, Niazi at, 172. 

Japan-Russo War, influence of, 54. 
Jews and the Young Turks, 83. 

Kemil Bey, poet, 57. 
Kermanle Metre, 139. 
Kiamil Pasha, 39, 230; resignation of, 

Labcha, 156. 
Laurent, Monsieur, 235. 
Liberal Union, the, 290. 
Liberty secured for all, 225. 
Literature, Turkish, 13. 

Macedonia, in 1908, 133; pacifica- 
tion of, 227; partition of, 2. 

Macedonian brigands, 18; Commit- 
tees, 84; insurrection, 90. 

Magna Charta of Turkey, the, 25. 

Mahmud II, 25. 

Mahmud Nedim Pasha, 26-27. 

Manifesto of Central Committee, 120. 

Mascot, a, 191. 

Mehemet Ali, murder of, 69. 

Midhat Pasha, premier, 26, 31; exile 
and death, 33. 

Military and the Revolution, 113; 
condition of the, 50-53. 

Mohammedans and the Committee, 



Monastir, 152; capture of, 192, 194; 

Vali of, 169, 184. 
Mongolians, the, 5. 
Moslem reformation, the, 60. 
Murad V, 29. 

Mussulman, the, 5; influence, 154. 

Nationalist parties, 288. 
Navy, decay of the, 36. 
Nazim Bey, Colonel, sent to Salonica, 

Niazi Bey, 133-138, 141; called to 
Ochrida, 185; letters of, 116; re- 
volt of, 125; work in Bulgaria, 
160; at Velijon, 166. 
manifesto, 164. 

Ochrida, 186; the march on, 190. 
Osman Pasha, a prisoner, 195. 
Ottoman Committee, the, 75-97. 

Palace, corruption at, 6; and the 
Greeks, 159-184. 

Pan-Islamic schemes, 38. 

Pan-Islamism, repudiated, 58. 

Paris, Young Turks at, 72. 

Parliament, dissolved, 65; opening of, 
281-296; the new, 249, 260, 276, 
280, 287. 

Parties in Parliament, 287. 

People, the Turkish, 1. 

Police, secret, 42. 

Polygamy, 11. 

Poole, Stanley Lane, 13. 

Power, the balance of, 36. 

Press, liberty of, 41; and the Commit- 
tee, 224. 

Proclamation to the Greeks, 182. 

Programme of Young Turk party, 261. 

Reactionary intrigues, 239, 293. 
Reformation, the Moslem, 60. 
Reformers, early, 25-34. 

Religious questions, 9. 
Reshad Effendi proclaimed Sultan, 

Reshid Pasha, 25. 
Resources, development of, 264. 
Revolt, causes of, 49; standard of, 

Revolution, after the, 207-221; be- 
ginning of, 117-132; of 1907, 54. 
Rise of the Young Turks, 64-86. 
Rizna, the rising of, 146. 
Russia, peace of 1878, 33. 
Russian influence, 16. 
Russo-Turkish War, the, 16. 

Sabah-ed-Din, Prince, 76. 

Said Pasha, Grand Vizier, 204, 229. 

Salonica, Central Committee at, 103; 
Congress at, 252; Ottoman Com- 
mittee at, 97-100. 

Sandansky, king of the mountains, 

Secret police, the, 42. 
Secret proceedings, 105. 
Sefer Bey, 30. 
Selamlik, the, 243. 
Self-rule, preparing for, 249-260. 
Sheik-ul-Islam, the, 11. 
Shimshi Pasha, 126-152; assassinated, 

Shura-i-Ummet journal, the, 248. 
"Sick man of Europe," the, 21. 
"Silistria," the, 57. 
Softas, the, 28. 

Spies in Turkey, 20; system of, 41, 44, 

Spread of Corruption, the, 35-53. 
Spread of Education, 54-63. 
Spy system, the military, 89. 
Standard of Revolt, the, 133-151. 
"Story of the Nations," the, 13. 
Sultan, character of the, 37; the new, 



Taxation, re-adjustment of, 265. 
Theatre, influence of the, 257. 
Tolerance of the Young Turks, 59. 
Treachery against Turkey, 3. 
Troops, the palace, 242. 
Tsar, the, and Edward VII, 122. 

Ulemas, the, 11, 61. 
Ultimatum of the Committee, 198- 

Union and Progress, Committee of, 

261, 280, 284. 
"Unspeakable Turks," the, 15. 

Vali of Monastir, the, 169, 184. 

Velijon, Niazi at, 166. 
Victory, a Bloodless, 185-197. 
Von der Goltz, Baron, 103. 

Western ideas, influence of, 56. 
Whittall, Sir William, 7. 
Women, in the Revolution, 112; 
status of, 12. 

Yildiz soldiers, the, 239. 

Young Turk party, the, 3, 55, 59-63, 
86; programme, 261; movement of, 
79; administration by, 214; rise of 
the, 64-86. 



Form 47 

950 V. 21 r 47 

Harrisburg I45345 

In case of failure to return the books the borrower agrees to pay the original 
price of the same, or to replace them with other copies. The last borrower is held 
responsible for any mutilation. 

Return this book on or before the last date stamped below. 

' V. '- 

t — 

— ^ — rtrs